Federal Appeals Court strikes down parts of New York State gun law

December 8, 2023

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday struck down parts of a New York State gun control law that would require concerned carry permit applications disclose the buyer’s social media account.

The ruling further rejected a provision that bans gun possession by default on private property, and it also blocked the state from enforcing a gun possession ban at places of worship. 

New York Democrats passed the law after a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen, that said the state’s requirement that a person show a special need for self-protection to be allowed to carry concealed outside the home violated the 14th Amendment.

That Supreme Court ruing, which was decided 6-3 by the conservative Justices’ supermajority, marked the biggest expansion of 2nd Amendment rights in a decade.

New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) was aimed at complying with the Supreme Court’s ruling. It set out to ban firearms in 20 “sensitive places” in the state, including some of New York City’s most frequented spots, like Times Square, Yankee Stadium and the subway system. It also created the new requirements for receiving a carry permit.

Friday’s 261-page ruling by the appeals court narrowed the list of blocked provisions and found that some lower-court judges didn’t have jurisdiction or improperly found portions to be unconstitutional.

The decision also set aside rulings that struck down gun possession bans at many locations deemed “sensitive places,” including behavior health centers, public parks, zoos, theaters, conference centers and establishments licensed to serve alcohol.

In striking down the provision requiring concealed-carry permit applicants to disclose their current and former social media accounts, the appeals court ruled, “The State points to no historical law conditioning lawful carriage of a firearm on disclosing one’s pseudonyms or, more generally, on informing the government about one’s history of speech.”

The 2022 Bruen case is also at the center of a current case being weighed by the U.S. Supreme Court, over a law barring accused domestic abusers from buying guns.

PHOTO: Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in Manhattan, home of the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

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