AG James vows to appeal federal judge ruling blocking parts of new state gun law

Trump Legal Troubles
New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in New York. New York’s attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company on Wednesday, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
(AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

State Attorney General Letitia James declared she’d swiftly appeal a Syracuse federal judge’s ruling Thursday that blocks several key parts of New York’s new law that placed restrictions on concealed carry permits.

That law, known as the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, was passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul following a June U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down New York’s long standing stringent rules on who can obtain a concealed carry firearm license.

In Thursday’s decision, Judge Glenn Suddaby of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of New York ruled that certain parts of the law are unconstitutional and can’t be enforced. These include new hurdles in the conceal carry permitting process, like requiring applicants to submit their social media accounts from the past three years, and defining areas – like Times Square – as “sensitive locations” where even license holders are barred from packing heat.

In a statement, James said that while the ruling doesn’t overturn the entire law, it does enough damage that she feels an appeal is necessary.

“Today’s decision comes in the wake of mass shootings and rampant gun violence hurting communities here in New York and across the country,” James said. “While the decision preserves portions of the law, we believe the entire law must be preserved as enacted. We will appeal this decision.”

“Common-sense gun control regulations help save lives,” she added. “I will not back down from the fight to protect New Yorkers from repeated and baseless attacks on our state’s gun safety measures. I will continue to defend our responsible gun laws and fight for the safety of everyday New Yorkers.”

In her own statement, Hochul characterized the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, which was drafted shortly after the Supreme Court rendered its decision, as “carefully crafted” and said her office is working with James’ appealing Suddaby’s decision.

“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s reckless decision that reversed decades of established law amid a national gun violence crisis, the State Legislature and I acted decisively to keep New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said. “The Concealed Carry Improvement Act was carefully crafted to put in place common-sense restrictions around concealed carry permits.”

“While this decision leaves aspects of the law in place, it is deeply disappointing that the Judge wants to limit my ability to keep New Yorkers safe and to prevent more senseless gun violence,” she added. “We are working with the Attorney General’s office to review the decision carefully and discuss next steps in an appeal. I will continue to do everything in my power to combat the gun violence epidemic and protect New Yorkers.”