The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


N.Y. Concealed Carry Restrictions Cut Back, at Least Temporarily, by Court Order


Antonyuk v. Hochul, decided today by Judge Glenn Suddaby (N.D.N.Y.), temporarily blocks the following provisions of the New York "Concealed Carry Improvement Act" as to the process for getting a license:

  1. the provisions contained in Section 1 of the CCIA requiring "good moral character" EXCEPT to the extent it is construed to mean that a license shall be issued or renewed except for an applicant who has been found, by a preponderance of the evidence based on his or her conduct, to not have "good moral character," which is defined as "having the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary … to use [the weapon entrusted to the applicant] only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others, other than in self-defense";
  2. the provision contained in Section 1 of the CCIA requiring that the applicant "meet in person with the licensing officer for an interview";
  3. CCIA requiring the "names and contact information for the applicant's current spouse, or domestic partner, any other adults residing in the applicant's home, including any adult children of the applicant, and whether or not there are minors residing, full time or part time, in the applicant's home";
  4. the provision contained in Section 1 of the CCIA requiring "a list of former and current social media accounts of the applicant from the past three years"; and

It blocks the prohibitions on carrying in various supposedly "sensitive locations," except for:

  1. "any place owned or under the control of federal, state or local government, for the purpose of government administration, including courts" (as contained in paragraph "2(a)" of Section 4);
  2. "any location being used as a polling place" (as contained in paragraph "2(q)" of Section 4);
  3. "any public sidewalk or other public area restricted from general public access for a limited time or special event that has been issued a permit for such time or event by a governmental entity, or subject to specific, heightened law enforcement protection, or has otherwise had such access restricted by a governmental entity, provided such location is identified as such by clear and conspicuous signage" (as contained in paragraph "2(r)" of Section 4);
  4. "any place of worship or religious observation" (as contained in paragraph "2(c)" of Section 4), EXCEPT for those persons who have been tasked with the duty to keep the peace at the place of worship or religious observation;
  5. "nursery schools" and "preschools" (as contained in paragraph "2(f)" of Section 4);
  6. "any building or grounds, owned or leased, of any educational institutions, colleges and universities, licensed private career schools, school districts, public schools, private schools licensed under article one hundred one of the education law, charter schools, non-public schools, board of cooperative educational services, special act schools, preschool special education programs, private residential or non-residential schools for the education of students with disabilities, and any state-operated or state-supported schools" (as contained in paragraph "2(m)" of Section 4);
  7. "any gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional rights to protest or assemble" (as contained in paragraph "2(s)" of Section 4).

And it blocks the prohibition on carrying in "the 'restricted locations' provision contained in Section 5 of the CCIA EXCEPT for fenced-in farmland owned by another or fenced-in hunting ground owned by another (where the restriction stands)"; that provision "prohibits license holders from carrying in other persons' buildings and or on their land, enclosed or not, unless expressly permitted to do so." (I take it that property owners remain free to expressly forbid concealed carry on their property.)

I realize some of this opaque, but I'm on the run right now and this is all I could post; I hope to add more details later. Congratulations to Robert J. Olson and Stephen D. Stamboulieh, who represent the plaintiff.