New York City’s gun laws, which were implemented after the city lost the case of New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, have likewise been declared unlawful by a U.S. District Court judge.
Following the judicial reprimand, the city was so incensed that it purposefully disregarded the Bruen ruling, passing laws labeling vast portions of the Big Apple as “sensitive places” and granting officials the authority to deny a carry permit application if they believed the low-income taxpayer to be “not of good moral character.”
That particular type of “may issue” discretion was the crux of the Bruen lawsuit, which is why the city was unsuccessful in its appeal to the Supreme Court.
As U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan (a Trump appointee) wrote in his opinion:
The Challenged Firearms Licensing Provisions land very close to the problematic “may issue” laws criticized in Bruen. … The Challenged Firearms Provisions empower a City licensing official to decide not to issue a permit or license for a firearm based on that official’s discretionary assessment of the applicant’s “good moral character” and the determination of a vaguely defined presence of “good cause.” Much like the “proper-cause” inquiry invalidated in Bruen, permitting denial of a firearms license based on a government official’s “good moral character” or “good cause” assessment has the effect of “prevent[ing] lawabiding citizens with ordinary self defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.”
Sure, then. That was the entire purpose of the Bruen response statute in New York. It was a flimsy attempt to reassemble the same sort of official discretion that the Bruen ruling destroyed. Judge Cronan dismissed the city’s arguments on historical grounds, so it didn’t mislead anyone back then either.
Lastly, he composed:
This case is not about the ability of a state or municipality to impose appropriate and constitutionally valid regulations governing the issuance of firearm licenses and permits. The constitutional infirmities identified herein lie not in the City’s decision to impose requirements for the possession of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Rather, the provisions fail to pass constitutional muster because of the magnitude of discretion afforded to City officials in denying an individual their constitutional right to keep and bear firearms, and because of Defendants’ failure to show that such unabridged discretion has any grounding in our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.
You can read the full ruling here.
The city will no doubt appeal the ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals