US judge temporarily blocks parts of New York’s new gun law

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NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters) – A federal judge in New York temporarily blocked parts of the state’s new gun law on Thursday to allow the Gun Owners of America, an advocacy group, to take legal action to challenge the legislation.

The order marks one of the most significant victories for gun owner rights groups in challenging U.S. gun restrictions since the landmark June Supreme Court ruling. United States which declared for the first time that Americans had the constitutional right to bear arms in public. .

New York’s law went into effect on September 1 and is being closely watched by other states across the country where gun violence has become prevalent. It establishes new requirements for obtaining a license, including the submission of social media accounts for review, and creates a long list of public and private places where possession of a firearm has become a crime, even for licensees.

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Lawmakers in the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature had passed the law in an emergency session in July after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling also found the licensing regime state firearms lawsuit was unconstitutional following a challenge by the New York branch of the National Rifle Association, a powerful firearms rights group.

Chief Judge Glenn Suddaby of the U.S. District Court in Syracuse agreed to issue the order at the request of six New York residents who are members of Gun Owners of America, which rivals the National Rifle Association for political influence.

He said his order would only take effect for three days to allow the New York government to appeal its decision to a higher court.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement that her office plans to appeal. “Today’s decision follows mass shootings and rampant gun violence that is hurting communities here in New York and across the country,” she said. “While the ruling preserves parts of the law, we believe the entire law should be preserved as enacted. “

New York legislative leaders and Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, had said they were appalled by the June ruling by the conservative majority of the United States Supreme Court. They warned that more people carrying guns in public would lead to more gun violence.

Yet they agreed to remove a provision of state law that the Supreme Court found improperly gave subjective discretion to government officials to deny New Yorkers gun licenses.

‘SENSITIVE AREAS’

At the same time, the state’s new Concealed Carry Improvement Act added new restrictions and requirements. It says applicants must submit their social media accounts for review by a government official and provide at least four character references.

Suddaby’s order prohibits the state from enforcing these new licensing provisions.

The new list of “sensitive places” where carrying a firearm is a crime is long. It includes schools and colleges, government buildings, medical facilities, public transportation, bars or restaurants serving alcohol, “the area commonly known as Times Square”, and parks.

Suddaby’s order sharply reduced the list of sensitive places: It said schools, colleges and government buildings can remain sensitive places, but many other categories cannot.

The law also made it a crime to have a firearm on someone’s private property unless the landlord or tenant has posted a sign that says guns are welcome. Suddaby rejected this provision making an exception only for fenced private farmland.

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Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Mark Porter and Aurora Ellis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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