Gun Owners Sue New York State Over New Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA)

ALBANY, NEW YORK -( Gun Owner of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOA’s nonprofit), and Ukrainian immigrant Ivan Atonyu have filed suit over the new firearms restrictions passed by New York State after the New York State Pistol Rifle Association v. Bruen Supreme Court Decision.

In the Bruen decision, the court struck down New York State’s “proper cause” clause in its concealed carry law. Under the old “Sullivan” law, the state could decide who could and couldn’t carry a firearm outside the home.

The law was passed in 1913 by the Irish to prevent newly arriving Italians from carrying guns.

In a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, SCOTUS ruled the law was unconstitutional, and Americans have the right to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense.

Notorious anti-gun New York Governor Kathy Hochul called an emergency session of the New York Legislature to pass a slew of anti-gun bills known as the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” (CCIA) to try to negate the Supreme Court’s decision even though the Justices explicitly warned the state NOT to do that in the opinion. The new laws made New York even more restricted than before the court handed down the Bruen decision.

The Justices said guns could be banned in certain “sensitive places” such as schools or government buildings but said just because people gather in certain areas, that could not be used to deem a place “sensitive.” The legislature ignored that part of the ruling. It declared Time Square, sidewalks with permitted events, any private business that doesn’t post a gun allowed sign, anywhere there is alcohol served, and many other places as “sensitive,” including areas surrounding the new sensitive areas.

These new laws eliminated almost all locations where a citizen could carry in the state.

Gun Owners of America contends that by expanding “sensitive places” to such a vast number of locations, New York State is violating the Second Amendment under the Bruen decision. The gun-rights group claims that this move is blatantly unconstitutional and violates the Second Amendment rights of its membership base.

GOA also contends that New York State replaced “proper cause” with “good moral character.” Anyone that wants to carry a gun will have to turn over all social media posts and give four-character references to the state. The state will be the sole arbiter if someone is of “good moral character.” The gun-rights group claims this violates not only the Second Amendment but also the First Amendment because it infringes on the free speech and the free expression of the gun owner who wants a permit.

Any social media post could be used to disqualify a gun owner from carrying a gun in public.

A meme shared on a private Facebook page could disqualify a gun owner from being able to carry a firearm outside their home. Gun Owners of America consider this to be draconian and stifling to the rights of gun owners.

The lawsuit also highlights that law enforcement opposes the laws. The Governor is demanding law enforcement enforce the anti-gun laws. The New York Sheriff’s Association has released statements objecting to the law, which it sees as unenforceable to unconstitutional under Bruen.

This suit is the Second Lawsuit by Gun Owners of America in a week. The first is challenging the new rule surrounding the ATF’s attempt to redefine a firearm. Neither the ATF nor New York State has responded in either case.