New York City has never been particularly gun friendly. With their oversized impact on state politics, they’re the reason the whole state is a big nope zone for gun-loving folks.
Now, the state’s new carry laws are going into effect as of today.
What may be worse, though, is that a federal judge actually upheld the law.
Amid the bright lights and electronic billboards of New York’s Times Square, city authorities are posting signs proclaiming the bustling crossroads a “Gun Free Zone.”
The sprawling Manhattan tourist attraction is one of scores of “sensitive” places — including parks, churches and theaters — that will be off-limits for guns under a sweeping new state law going into effect Thursday. The measure, passed after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June expanded gun rights, also sets stringent standards for issuing concealed carry permits.
A federal judge let the new rules go forward Wednesday evening, hours before they were to take effect. Despite writing that the arguments for granting a preliminary injunction to stop the rules were persuasive, Judge Glenn Suddaby said the plaintiffs — an upstate New York resident and three gun rights organizations — didn’t have standing to bring the legal action. Suddaby said he came to that decision partly because the man, a legal gun owner, couldn’t demonstrate he was at risk of a credible threat of prosecution under the new guidelines, among other factors.
Messages were left Wednesday with an attorney representing some of the plaintiffs. In a tweet, New York Attorney General Letitia James called the ruling a major victory “against baseless attacks by the gun lobby.”
Except that it’s not baseless.
Further, I think the judge is wrong about standing, not so much due to potential prosecution, but due to the fact that it inhibits the plaintiff’s ability to defend himself by keeping and bearing arms. The laws in question don’t just prosecute lawbreakers, they put people at a profound disadvantage in protecting themselves and others.
Unfortunately, though, standing is a thorny problem with legal challenges. I can think of some people who probably do have pretty good standing, though. I mean, they can’t even leave their house without breaking those particular laws, which is the point.
So what’s next?
Well, this is just one pothole on a very long, winding road. While the judge refused to issue an injunction, it doesn’t mean the law will be permitted to stand forever. Especially as the judge felt the arguments were persuasive. All they need to do is figure out the standing issue and this law’s days are numbered.
Until then, however, this law is on the books and goes into effect today. If you live in New York and already have a permit, be advised and be careful. While some places may look the other way on a lot of stuff, New York City sure isn’t going to, so if you have to go there, don’t make it easy for them.
In the meantime, a lot of people are going to keep working to get this law overturned.