New York asks appeals court to keep restrictive gun law in effect after lower court paused enforcement of parts of it


The state of New York on Monday asked an appeals court to allow a restrictive gun law to remain in effect as it appeals a decision by a federal judge that temporarily blocked parts of the measure.

“Today my office filed a motion to keep the entire Concealed Carry Improvement Act in effect and continue to protect communities as the appeals process moves forward. This common-sense gun control legislation is critical in our state’s effort to reduce gun violence,” New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The state has asked for an interim stay by the end of the day Tuesday because the temporary restraining order goes in to effect on Wednesday.

Additionally, the state requested an oral argument and a decision “as soon as practicable thereafter” on the larger request to pause the restraining order.

“Research shows that relaxing legal requirements for carrying guns in public results in greater levels of violent crime, gun homicides, and officer-involved shootings,” the filing stated, adding, “The order’s effect on public safety – and the public’s sense of safety – may be enormous.”

The state indicated in its filing that the plaintiffs are opposed to the state’s action and do plan to file a response.

Erich Pratt, the senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, a group to which all six plaintiffs belong, rejected the state’s move on Monday.

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

On Thursday, a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of parts of the gun law that was enacted in the wake of a Supreme Court decision earlier this summer striking down certain protections. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul said her office was working with James to discuss an appeal following last week’s decision.

Judge Glenn T. Suddaby of the US District Court for the Northern District of New York said the state has “further reduced a first-class constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense” into a mere “request.” He said that several provisions of the law had no historical justification, a controversial requirement put forward by the high court last spring.

The law, which went into effect in September, was signed by Hochul as a swift response to the Supreme Court striking down New York’s gun law that required a resident to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver in public and demonstrate that “proper cause” existed for the permit.

But the plaintiffs in the case at hand, including at least one individual who wants to carry his firearm in church, argue the state is violating their Second and 14th Amendment rights by denying them the right to self-defense. They have filed for a preliminary injunction with Suddaby in order to eventually prohibit the state from enforcing its new set of laws.

This story has been updated with additional reporting and reaction.

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