Federal Judge Blocks Gun Ban In New York

U.S. District Judge John Sinatra Jr. issued an injunction last week blocking a gun law from taking effect in New York that would have banned people from bearing arms in places of worship.

Sinatra said, “The court reiterates that ample Supreme Court precedent addressing the individuals right to keep and bear arms – from Heller and McDonald to its June 2022 decision in [New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen] – dictates that New York’s new place of worship restriction is equally unconstitutional.”

The Supreme Court precedent that Sinatra referenced was a 6-3 ruling by SCOTUS in the “New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen” case that said New York unconstitutionally restricted who could and could not carry a concealed weapon in public.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority in that case stating, “In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense. We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

The 6-3 ruling was down party lines with all three Democratic-appointed justices dissenting. They called the ruling a “major obstacle in the movement to address gun violence.”

President Biden called the decision a major disappointment and said that it “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.” He called for Americans to rally together for gun safety, a call that went unheeded.

Justice Thomas, on the other hand, wrote: “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”

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