Gun rights supporters argue new NY regs violate Bruen

Craig Ruttle/Pool via AP, File

It’s going to be a long time before all the dust settles following the Bruen decision. I mean, it’s been more than a decade since Heller and it hasn’t settled from that one yet.

The thing is, we all pretty much knew what was coming.

That included anti-gun lawmakers who knew their licensing scheme–one designed to minimize the number of law-abiding citizens carrying firearms–was going to go away. So, they started trying to pass laws ahead of time that would be Bruen-proof. Others are now looking at the decision and trying to craft the most onerous regulations they think they can get away with.

One such place the latter is happening was, unsurprisingly, the state of New York.

Now, gun rights advocates are challenging those laws, saying they conflict with the ruling.

Gun rights advocates said Tuesday that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s effort to create new requirements for pistol license applicants flies in the face of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down New York’s restrictions on the issuance of concealed carry permits

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, said his group is prepared to initiate a lawsuit against state officials if any new gun legislation enacted at the state Capitol infringes on the constitutional rights of individuals to acquire and bear firearms.

The ruling secured by the Rifle and Pistol Association from the top court last week is expected to make it easier for people to carry guns not just in New York but in several other states that had similar restrictions on concealed carry permits.

“We didn’t come this far to guarantee the rights of the Second Amendment to the gun owners of New York state to have them taken away by some new laws proposed to circumvent the Supreme Court,” King said.

Lawmakers, in an emergency session slated to begin Thursday, are expected to take up several proposed amendments that could add additional training requirements by those seeking pistol permits and provide a clear definition of “sensitive” areas where guns are off-limits even to those holding concealed carry permits.

Now, the ruling did specify that some “sensitive” places were fair game to keep guns out of–places like courthouses, etc.–but Hochul also said, “It’s hard to find a place that’s not sensitive, in my judgment.”

It’s kind of hard not to be concerned.

Further, as it stands, training requirements in New York vary by county. Some require in-person training, others online, and some have no training requirements at all. Under the guise of trying to create a uniform standard, there’s every reason to suspect that New York will create an onerous standard that will make it extremely difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain such a permit.

That flies directly in the face of the Bruen decision.

At this point, though, New York has to know that the NYSRPA is serious when it threatens legal action. Then again, they’re also walking the line here.

After all, Bruen does say states can implement some requirements in order to obtain a permit. This includes a training requirement.

The trick for people like Hochul is to make them so they’re not what the Court would consider too great a burden. Bruen says states can implement requirements, but it also says that doesn’t give them license to implement any requirement they want.

In other words, Justice Clarence Thomas was more than willing to revisit the concealed carry question if states like New York couldn’t handle things correctly.

I really suspect that’ll have to happen sooner rather than later.