AG James appeals fed court ruling seeking to block key parts of new concealed carry restrictions

FILE – New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention on Feb. 17, 2022, in New York. New York’s attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

In what’s becoming a tit-for-tat, State Attorney General Letitia James Monday appealed a federal judge’s ruling last week that blocked several key provisions of the state’s newly enacted restrictions on concealed carry firearm licenses.

James filed a motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to keep parts of the law, known as the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, that were blocked last week, intact for the duration of the appeals process. The state AG had previously indicated she would appeal the upstate judge’s ruling soon after it was handed down last Thursday.

“Today my office filed a motion to keep the entire Concealed Carry Improvement Act in effect and continue to protect communities as the appeals process moves forward,” James said in a statement. “This common-sense gun control legislation is critical in our state’s effort to reduce gun violence. We will continue to fight for the safety of everyday New Yorkers.”

The law put new limits on where New Yorkers with gun licenses can pack heat and tightened the concealed carry permitting process. It was quickly drafted by state lawmakers, passed and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in a special session of the state legislature following a June U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned New York’s century-old restrictions on who could legally carry concealed firearms.

In last week’s decision, Syracuse-area federal Judge Glenn Suddaby ruled key parts of the law are in violation of New Yorker’s second amendment rights and placed a temporary restraining order on those provisions until at least an Oct. 20 briefing in his court. The ruling came in response to gun rights group Gun Owners of America’s legal challenge to the law last month.

Specifically, Suddaby had moved to block parts of the law that banned gun-toting in “sensitive locations” like Times Square, public transit and sporting and entertainment venues. He also ruled against the more stringent rules the state legislature put in place for obtaining a concealed carry license, which require applicants to submit five character references and a list of their social media accounts from the past three years.

However, Suddaby kept the bans in place for government buildings, houses of worship, polling sites, educational settings and nursery schools.

Last week’s decision outraged several New York elected officials including Mayor Eric Adams, who slammed the ruling during an unrelated press conference Friday.

“You all have heard me say over and over again, ‘if there’s one thing that keeps me up at night it’s that Supreme Court decision around the gun laws,’” Adams said. “It is the wrong thing to do. We need to isolate areas where people can’t carry guns. It’s just irresponsible. New York is different from many other locations, it’s too densely populated and we need to be treated accordingly.”