Following Supreme Court Ruling, Gun Law Regulations Crumble Rapidly

A judge ruled New York’s gun control measure prohibiting guns in Times Square, Yankee Stadium, the subway, and other vulnerable places violates the Second Amendment. The judgment is on hold while the trial is appealed. 

The Bruen Case

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen this summer, judges decided it’s illegal to ban guns without serial numbers.

They also ruled it’s illegal to prevent those under criminal indictment from obtaining guns and to ban guns from airports and summer camps. 

Jake Charles, a Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law professor, said a half-dozen courts are throwing down statutes based on this ruling. He thinks people will be shocked by Bruen’s first six-month fallout.

In the last term, Republican-appointed justices overturned Roe v. Wade. Lower courts focus on the court’s relentless pursuit of other conservative policy initiatives, such as expanding the Second Amendment. 

The Bruen test eliminates the formal requirement that justices examine whether a challenged statute prevents gun violence, undermining public safety. 

Adam Winkler, a lecturer at UCLA School of Law and Second Amendment expert, said the Supreme Court adopted a rule that will make it hard to defend many gun safety policies, including uncontentious ones, like vetting or domestic abuser weapons prohibitions. 

One area of Second Amendment uncertainty explored in the New York case involves so-called “sensitive zones,” where the Supreme Court said weapons might be legitimately barred, but left the word ambiguous. 

In response to the Supreme Court’s late June verdict, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on July 1 signed a measure criminalizing gun carrying in airports, places of religion, Times Square, and other sensitive sites, while imposing stricter licensing requirements.

Gun Owners of America quickly sued. 

A federal court in Syracuse blocked crucial provisions of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act earlier this month (CCIA).

U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby ruled portions of the law’s license requirements and location-specific limitations went too far in a 53-page judgment. Gun Owners of America applauded the decision. 

Freedom To Bear Arms

Erich Pratt, the group’s executive vice president, said the New York governor and New York City mayor lied and distorted the Second Amendment before the courts, placing New Yorkers at a handicap amid rising crime.

He added they’re grateful to Judge Suddaby for restoring the freedom to bear arms.

Hochul called the ruling “disappointing” and vowed to fight gun violence. 

Experts think Bruen’s silence on essential gun rights matters will lead to various court rulings. It may not be long until the New York verdict conflicts with another federal judge’s view on guns in “sensitive settings.” 

This means the Supreme Court could soon get another gun rights issue. 

Pepperdine University’s Charles said he expected after Bruen, the Supreme Court wouldn’t consider another Second Amendment issue for a few years, letting lower courts figure out how to apply the test.

Now, he thinks it will be forced to accept a case sooner rather than later.