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New York Asks For Stay On GOF's TRO Against The CCIA

Attorneys for the State of New York filed an appeal asking for a stay against the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by a U.S. District Judge in Antonyuk v. Hochul.

Last week, a federal judge in the Northern District of New York issued a TRO against most of the state’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) provisions. Judge Glenn Suddaby found that most of the law violated the United States Constitution.

Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation teamed up with several plaintiffs to sue New York over its law that infringed on the concealed carry rights of the state’s citizens. New York passed the law in response to the landmark Supreme Court decision in New York Pistol Rifle Association v. Bruen that knocked down the Empire State’s “proper cause” provision. That clause allowed the state to deny any permit it wanted.

The CCIA replaced “proper cause” with “good moral character.” Judge Suddaby ruled that the change to the wording still ran afoul of Bruen. In addition to the good moral character” clause being restrained, the judge also ruled that turning over social media accounts to the state violated a person’s First Amendment rights. He also restrained the state from enforcing most of the state’s prohibitions on firearms in “sensitive places” and all “restrictive places.”

New York State said it would respond to Judge Suddaby’s ruling, and now it has. Attorneys for Governor Kathy Hochul have now appealed the TRO asking the courts for a stay against the judge’s orders. If granted, the stay will block the implementation of the TRO. 

“Not surprisingly, the anti-gunners in New York appear hellbent on wasting taxpayer dollars to continue defending their patently unconstitutional gun control law,” said Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America. “We will continue to fight back until those in Albany recognize that their citizens’ rights shall not be infringed.”

New York State hedged its bet by requesting that the TRO be limited just to the plaintiffs if the court will not stay the whole TRO. Governor Hochul wants the court to stay the TRO wholesale, but the state realizes that goal might not be realistic, so it is giving the courts an option to limit the scope of the order.  

In addition to eliminating “proper cause,” the Bruen decision also eliminated the two-step test. Courts are no longer allowed to apply intermediate scrutiny to cases. The courts are only allowed to use the original text and history of the Second Amendment to form their decisions. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stated in his opinion that the Second Amendment is not a “second-class right.” 

New York State’s appeal appears to ask the courts to use intermediate scrutiny to issue a stay against the District Court’s TRO, which is strictly forbidden by the Bruen decision. The state argued in its motion for the stay that the TRO “poses an imminent risk to public safety and wellbeing.” The Bruen opinion binds the courts not to use intermediate scrutiny, and there is nothing in the history or text of the Second Amendment that speaks to “public safety” or “wellbeing.”

It is unknown when the court will rule on the motion for the stay.