October 26, 2023

Judge Strikes Down 2 Provisions in New York City Gun Law

A federal judge just made it a little easier to buy a handgun in New York City.

There were provisions added to the gun-buying policy, but two of them were removed after Judge Cronon ordered them unconstitutional.

The provisions removed cited “good moral character” and “good cause.”

Not Constitutional

Cronan's order will be tested in other courts, possibly taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which would undoubtedly cite the precedent set in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen decision.

In that decision, the court ruled that New York’s law was unconstitutional and prohibited Americans from being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The court, however, also stated that states can enforce “shall issue” permitting, which is where this ruling will be tested.

Just how far cities and states can take that "shall issue" permitting is where the argument will be centered in any appeal.

Even so, Cronan wrote, “In sum, having considered Defendants’ proffered historical materials, and applying the standard set in Bruen, the Court determines that the magnitude of discretion afforded to New York City licensing officials … empowering them to evaluate an applicant’s ‘good moral character’ and ‘good cause’ in deciding whether to permit that applicant to exercise his or her Second Amendment rights, is not constitutionally permissible under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.”

Cronan also found that the plaintiff, Joseph Spour, “suffered irreparable harm” for being denied his constitutional rights.

Even though the city lost the case, it had until October 26 to file an appeal. Cronon stayed his decision until that process plays out.

This is a very interesting case and I have no doubt it will wind up before the Supreme Court, at which point the court will dial in the Bruen decision to make it clear what provisions are acceptable and which are not.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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