New York’s top lawyer fears chaos after gun group victory

Albania — Attorney General Letitia James predicted in a brief Monday that New York could descend into “regulatory chaos” if a federal court decision overturning key parts of a new gun control law is not appealed.

In response to US District Judge Glenn Suddaby’s bombshell ruling last week, James filed a motion aimed at keeping the Concealed Carry Improvement Act in place.

The measure passed through the legislature on July 1, with Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, adamant that imposing new restrictions on handgun permits is critical to avoiding “Wild West” gun-owning behavior.

The Attorney General’s ruling said: “The serious threat of irreparable damage to public safety and the possibility of regulatory chaos warrant an immediate appeal.”

Suddaby’s order criticized the law forbidding the carrying of firearms in “sensitive areas,” including parks, libraries, Times Square, zoos, playgrounds and public transportation.

The judge also questioned the legal requirement that applicants for a handgun license disclose their social media account information to authorities, disclose contact information for household members, and demonstrate that they are of “good moral character.”

James’ response to the ruling argued it undermined the state’s efforts to strengthen public safety and suggested that society’s abundance of guns, even those owned by law-abiding gun license holders, added to the danger factor.

“As the data confirms, more guns, carried by more people in more places, lead to more crime, violence and homicide,” argued James’ office.

The challenge to the updated handgun licensing law was brought by Gun Owners of America, an advocacy group, on behalf of six handgun license applicants.

The same law is also being challenged by the New York Rifle and Pistol Association, a subsidiary of the National Rifle Association, headed by Rensselaer County’s Tom King.

King told CNHI his group’s challenge is “even broader” than the lawsuit brought by Gun Owners of America. He said while the 2nd Circuit of Appeals will likely side with the state against gun rights advocates, the matter will eventually return to the US Supreme Court, which on May 23 ruled New York’s previous concealed carry rules unconstitutional. “This isn’t going to end,” King said, claiming the new law is riddled with constitutional violations that gun owners need to address.

It was the US Supreme Court ruling that prompted Hochul and her allies to try to circumvent it by authoring a new measure that imposed even more restrictions on legitimate gun owners

In scrapping much of the new law, Suddaby branded it “an unconstitutional law” and noted that it amounted to a “wish list of exercise-inhibiting restrictions glued together by a severability clause.”

James disagreed with the Suddaby decision, citing the nation’s top court’s earlier decision that a ban on firearms in places such as legislative assemblies and courthouses, along with “new and analog sensitive locations, is constitutionally permissible”.

Hochul’s opponent in the gubernatorial race, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-Long Island, has sided with gun rights groups adopting the new state legislation.

Over the weekend, two men were shot dead in front of Zeldin’s home, while the home was occupied by his two teenage daughters. You avoided injury.

The crime has drawn renewed attention to the issue of gun crime, and on Monday Zeldin told Fox Business News: “We need to reverse the criminal laws in Albany. We need to reclaim our streets.”

Zeldin told Fox Business Network on Monday, citing recent New York bail law amendments that Republicans say have reduced the length of time a violent suspect is held in prison: “We need to take back our streets.”

Zeldin has argued that gun licensing laws and crimes committed by armed criminals are two very different issues that cannot be addressed by tighter restrictions on those eligible to obtain gun licenses.

Hochul claims the new gun control law will benefit public safety. Commenting on the shooting near Zeldin’s home, she told reporters in New York City on Monday, “It’s a reminder, we all have to work together to get guns off the streets.”