On, off, on again. That is the story, so far, with New York’s ill-concealed “Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA).“
As one may recall, the CCIA was enacted this past summer by Gov. Kathy Hochul and her fellow gun controllers in the state legislature after the Supreme Court struck down New York’s “may-issue” licensing scheme as part of the landmark Bruen decision.
In that case, the high court affirmed that one’s right to keep and bear arms extends beyond one’s home into the public square.
Moreover, it found “may-issue” licensing schemes to be unconstitutional. That is to say, government officials cannot arbitrarily deny concealed-carry permits to law-abiding citizens on the grounds that they don’t have a sufficient “proper cause” to exercise this fundamental right.
Irate with the SCOTUS ruling, Gov. Hochul responded by pushing out the draconian CCIA that required applicants for concealed carry permits to do all of the following:
- Display “good moral character”
- Disclose their social media accounts for review
- Have in-person interviews with law enforcement
- Provide four “character references”
- Undergo 18 hours of combined training, a tremendous increase from the existing 4-hour requirement
The CCIA also banned firearms in a wide-ranging list of “sensitive locations,” which sought to, in effect, make the entire state a gun-free zone.
SEE ALSO: ‘Confusion’ Is the Word As NY Gov. Hochul’s Gun Laws Take Effect
Gun-rights groups immediately filed suit against the CCIA on the grounds that it violated the Bruen decision. A federal judge — Judge Glenn Suddaby — agreed, saying the CCIA imposed “unprecedented constitutional violations.”
And in November, Judge Suddaby enjoined the following provisions via a temporary restraining order (TRO):
- Requiring good moral character
- Requiring the names and contact info of spouses and other adults in the applicant’s home
- Requiring applicants to disclose social media accounts for review
- The restrictions on carrying in public parks, zoos, places of worship, locations where alcohol is served, theaters, banquet halls, conferences, airports and buses, lawful protests or assemblies, and the prohibition on carrying on private property without express consent from the owner
Gun Controllers fought back and appealed the case to the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2nd Circuit decided in December that while it was deciding the matter it would put a stay on Judge Suddaby’s preliminary injunction (TRO).
Put quite simply, the CCIA would go back into effect. In short, it’s on again.
The Gun-rights groups that sued then asked the Supreme Court to intervene and block the 2nd Circuit’s stay on the original injunction granted by Judge Suddaby.
The high court this week declined to do so. But two justices on the bench — Justice Alito and Justice Thomas — made it very clear that this fight was far from over.
“I understand the Court’s denial today to reflect respect for the Second Circuit’s procedures in managing its own docket, rather than expressing any view on the merits of the case,” they wrote.
“Applicants should not be deterred by today’s order from again seeking relief if the Second Circuit does not, within a reasonable time, provide an explanation for its stay order or expedite consideration of the appeal,” they added.
SEE ALSO: What New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Is Doing to Put a De Facto Ban on Concealed Carry
The clock is ticking now for the 2nd Circuit. If it fails to come to a reasonable decision soon, the high court may step in, as Erich Pratt, the Senior Vice President for Gun Owners of America indicated in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.
“While we would have hoped for immediate relief from the Court, this statement from Justice Alito is incredibly reassuring, in that the court is completely prepared to step in and re-assert the Bruen precedent should lower courts fail to properly, and in a timely manner, apply it in judicial cases where Second Amendment rights are being restricted,” said Pratt.
“We look forward to continuing the fight against New York’s draconian law,” he added.
As always, stay tuned for updates.