A federal judge in western New York has granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a New York State ban on firearms in places of worship, in a case filed by the Second Amendment Foundation.
U.S. District Court Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr., of the Western District of New York granted the injunction about two weeks after he also granted a temporary restraining order in the same case.
SAF is joined in the case by the Firearms Policy Coalition on behalf of Bishop Larry A. Boyd of Buffalo and Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr., of Niagara Falls. Both churchmen contend they carry for personal protection and defense of their congregations, but because New York’s new gun control law identifies places of worship as “sensitive places,” guns are now prohibited.
The lawsuit was filed in mid-October, and Judge Sinatra—a Donald Trump appointee—has acted with remarkable speed.
SAF and its partners are represented by attorneys Nicolas J. Rotsko at Phillips Lytle LLP in Buffalo, NY, and David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and John W. Tienken at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC in Washington, D.C.
This battle started in late June, a week after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its gun control shattering ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The 6-3 decision, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, eviscerated the Empire State’s century-old concealed carry law that required applicants for carry licenses to demonstrate “good cause” for needing to carry a gun. The law allowed local officials to arbitrarily deny applications, which they did by the tens of thousands.
The ruling also put an end to the two-step scrutiny process used by lower federal courts to reject Second Amendment challenges to local laws. No longer can lower federal courts use “means-end scrutiny” to sideline gun rights cases in the government’s interest.
New York’s new legislation was quickly challenged in a different federal district court, and U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby back on Oct. 6 declared many tenets of the law are unconstitutional.
Long story short, it has not been a good year for New York State anti-gunners.
“Clearly,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “the court is not allowing New York to dance around the intent or the spirit of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bruen case, which is exactly what the state was trying to do with its new gun control law.”