U.S. District Judge John Sinatra Jr. issued an injunction blocking a gun law that bars people in New York from bearing arms in places of worship.
“The court reiterates that ample Supreme Court precedent addressing the individuals right to keep and bear arms – from Heller and McDonald to its June 2022 decision in [New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen] – dictates that New York’s new place of worship restriction is equally unconstitutional,” Sinatra said, The Daily Caller reported.
“The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the Status quo – not 2022 legislation on the books for nine weeks,” the judge continued, taking aim at the Democrat-controlled New York legislature. “Legislative enactments may not eviscerate the Bill of Rights. Every day they do is one too many.”
“The nation’s history does not countenance such an incursion into the right to keep and bear arms across all places of worship across the state,” Sinatra wrote. “The right to self defense is no less important and no less recognized at these places.”
The federal judge in October issued a temporary hold on the law, similarly writing, “In Bruen, the Court made the Second Amendment test crystal clear: regulations in this area is permissible only if the government demonstrates that the regulation is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of sufficiently analogous regulations. … New York fails that test. The State’s exclusion is, instead, inconsistent with the Nation’s historical traditions.”
In its New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that longtime restrictions New York placed on carrying concealed firearms run in violation of Americans’ Second and 14th Amendment rights, The Daily Wire reported.
The case centered on a 1911 New York state law that conditioned the right to a concealed carry permit on “good moral character” and “proper cause.” The Supreme Court majority opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, took issue with the latter condition, which unlawfully forced New Yorkers to demonstrate “a special need for self-defense.”
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” Thomas wrote. “That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”
“New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms,” the justice added.
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.