New York State Reacts To Supreme Court’s Gun Rights Decision By Requiring Personal Interviews And Social Media Account Information

New York State Reacts To Supreme Court’s Gun Rights Decision By Requiring Personal Interviews And Social Media Account Information

In light of the decision by the US Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen , (see Supreme Court Rules That You Can’t Bear’ Arms Unless They Can Be Carried for Self-Defense), Governor Kathy Hochul convened a special legislative session. Bruen completely destroyed the anti-constitutional licensing programs some states created to stop law-abiding citizens exercising their rights to self-defense. This special session had the purpose of removing more obstacles that could delay New Yorkers’ ability to own firearms. The New York Times summarizes the law as

The new state gun law bans handgun carrying in public places such as buses and subways, parks, hospitals and stadiums, and daycares. Guns are not allowed on private property, unless their owner expressly permits them. Legislators added Times Square at the very last moment to the restricted site list.

The law also requires permit applicants to undergo 16 hours of training on the handling of guns and two hours of firing range training, as well as an in-person interview and a written exam. Local officials will have some discretion when approving applicants.

This description is, to put it mildly, a glossary of the law’s new provisions.

Guns are also outlawed from all private and commercial properties, except where the owner specifically allows them.

— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) July 2, 2022

The bill bans sales of certain body armor that is used in mass shootings, such as the one recently seen at the Buffalo grocery.

— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) July 2, 2022

New York wants to allow weapons to be carried, but not if there is a place to take it. New York responded to the Supreme Court’s decision that states can restrict firearms carrying in certain “sensitive places”. Although I’m not a lawyer, I find this too adorable by half. I also doubt most of the bullshwill be able to withstand court challenges.

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New York also has some clearly discriminatory features. The “15 hours of in-person training at a firing range” is not only stupid…no one needs to spend 15 hours on a range or attend a classroom at a range to qualify for a concealed carry permit…but a way of ensuring only the wealthy will have the means to obtain the required training. It is absurd and serves one purpose: to discriminate against candidates based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or political views. This is the equivalent to the Jim Crow “literacy test”. Undoubtedly, the most egregious overreach is a required review of an applicant’s social media accounts.

The new law requires people who want to buy a handgun licence to give a list of their social media accounts that they’ve maintained in the past three years to officials so that they can be verified as to “character and conduct .”

To be eligible for this measure applicants will need to prove that they possess “the essential character and temperament, judgment and judgement necessary to be entrusted to a weapon and to only use it in a way that is not dangerous to oneself or others .”

“Sometimes they are telegraphing that they intend to cause damage to others,” Hochul stated at a press conference.

This is nonsense. It is a challenge to Bruen ban on permit process “may issue”. To carry a gun, you don’t need to prove anything. You can have a weapon unless you’re prohibited from doing so by federal law. It is clearly illegal to demand information about social media accounts and the evaluation of any posts made on them.

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The new law stipulates that ammunition must only be sold to permits holders and ammo purchases made by them will be entered in a state-run database. It is not clear how this will be enforced.

It is equally illegal to prohibit the purchase of certain types of body armour.

The strategy of New York is to launch court challenges which will be difficult to resolve. After these restrictions have been removed, New York will bring back more. The Second Circuit was historically anti-gun and pro totalitarian regulation. Therefore, New York will need to bring their challenges to the Supreme Court.

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