SYRACUSE, NY - Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) have filed a new lawsuit challenging New York's Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) in the Northern District of New York.
New York passed the CCIA a mere few days after the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. SCOTUS confirmed an individual's right to carry a firearm outside the home for protection. The decision, written by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, eliminated New York's "proper cause" clause. Every state in the country became "shall issue."
Justice Thomas wrote that just because a place is where people gather, a state could not designate that location as a "sensitive area." New York State seemed to do just that. Much of the state became a "sensitive area."
For example, Time Square was designated a "sensitive area" because people gathered there. In many ways, people with unrestrictive carry licenses lost rights after Bruen. They could no longer take their firearm into a store or gas station because of the CCIA. New York also replaced "proper cause" with "good moral character." The new requirement forces applicants to hand over all social media to the state to decide if the applicant is of "good moral character." The state becomes the soul judge of morals. Many see this as an assault on First Amendment rights.
This case is the gun rights groups' second challenge to the CCIA. In the first case, Judge Glenn Suddaby found most of the CCIA to be unconstitutional, but since Ivan Antonyuk, the plaintiff in the case, did not plan to break the law, the judge felt he did not have standing. The court basically said that Mr. Antonyuk was too law-abiding. Gun Owners Foundation disagrees with the court’s ruling but respects its decision.
Now Antonyuk is back in court with additional plaintiffs who do plan to violate the CCIA. GOF believes these other plaintiffs will encourage the court to give standing to the case.
"We're excited to add plaintiffs to our lawsuit against the State of New York, challenging the Governor's and the state's egregious repudiation of the Supreme Court's decision on the Second Amendment," said Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President, Gun Owners of America. "This is a statute that anti-gun politicians have championed as a crime control policy -- but that couldn't be further from the truth. Given Judge Suddaby's previous writings that explain how this law is clearly unconstitutional, we are hopeful that it will be quickly enjoined by the court."
Although there are other challenges to the CCIA, this suit is the most comprehensive. If successful, the case would eliminate most, if not all, of the New York State anti-gun law.
"Our Complaint challenges numerous provisions of the wrongly-named Concealed Carry Improvement Act, including restrictions on locations which invalidate the Second Amendment right to public carry in almost all of New York," said Stephen Stamboulieh, Attorney for GOF. "Additionally, our Complaint challenges a variety of other requirements for being issued a carry permit, including that applicants must turn over three years of their social media, provide their friends and family's names and contact information to the police so they can be interrogated by government agents, take an exorbitantly expensive and time-consuming training class, requirements for in-person interviews with government agents without the protection of Fifth Amendment rights, and the requirement for an applicant to prove to a judge that he or she is of "good moral character."
GOF and GOA are asking the court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunctive relief blocking the law from being enforced.
Meet the Gun Owners Harmed by New York’s New Concealed Carry Restrictions:
Plaintiffs Antonyuk, Johnson, Terrille, Mann, Leman, and Sloane are the kind of persons discussed by the United States Supreme Court in its recent opinion in Bruen – that is, they are typical, law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs, who cannot be dispossessed of their right to bear arms in public for self-defense:
Plaintiff Ivan Antonyuk is a natural person, a citizen of the United States and of the State of New York, and resides in Schenectady County, New York. He is a law-abiding person, who currently possesses and has maintained an unrestricted New York carry license since 2009, and who is eligible to possess and carry firearms in the State of New York. Learn More…
Plaintiff Corey Johnson is a natural person, a citizen of the United States and of the State of New York, and resides in Onondaga County, New York. He is a law-abiding person, who currently possesses and has maintained an unrestricted New York carry license since 2019, and who is eligible to possess and carry firearms in the State of New York. Learn More…
Plaintiff Alfred Terrille is a natural person, a citizen of the United States and of the State of New York, and resides in Albany County, New York. He is a law-abiding person, who currently possesses and has maintained an unrestricted New York carry license since 1994, and who is eligible to possess and carry firearms in the State of New York. Learn More…
Plaintiff Joseph Mann is a natural person, a citizen of the United States and of the State of New York, and resides in Oswego County, New York. He is a law-abiding person, who currently possesses and has maintained a New York employment related carry license since 2014, and who is eligible to possess and carry firearms in the State of New York. Learn More…
Plaintiff Leslie Leman is a natural person, a citizen of the United States and of the State of New York, and resides in Greene County, New York. He is a law-abiding person, who currently possesses and has maintained an unrestricted New York carry license since 2012, and who is eligible to possess and carry firearms in the State of New York. Learn More…
Plaintiff Lawrence Sloane is a natural person, a citizen of the United States and of the State of New York, and resides in Onondaga County, New York. He is a law-abiding person, who desires to apply for and obtain an unrestricted New York carry license, and thereafter to concealed carry a handgun in public for self-defense, and is (aside from not having a license) eligible to possess and carry firearms in the State of New York. Learn More…
FARGO, ND - A Federal North Dakota District Court Judge ruled against the Gun Owners Foundation's (GOF) and Gun Owners of America's motion for a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s (ATF) new final rule (2021R-05F) surrounding frames and receivers.
The GOF Tweeted out, "This is a setback, not a defeat. GOA and GOF are committed to appealing this ruling and moving forward with our case against this unconstitutional rule."
This is a set back, not a defeat. GOA and GOF are committed to appealing this ruling and moving forward with our case against this unconstitutional rule.https://t.co/S4IF0BLUii— Gun Owners Foundation (@GunFoundation) August 23, 2022
In MOREHOUSE ENTERPRISES, LLC V. ATF, attorneys for GOF and Gun Owners of America (GOA) argued that the ATF overstepped its rule-making power when it redefined frames and receivers. Another issue GOF and GOA had with the final rule is that it requires gun store owners to keep federal background check forms (ATF Form 4473) forever. Before the new rule, a federal firearms licensee (FFL) was permitted to destroy all background check forms older than 20 years old. The final rule puts an ever-increasing burden on FFLs. GOF and GOA claimed the final rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The two gun-rights groups believed that the ATF was abusing its power by making a de facto law through the rule-making process instead of going through Congress.
The GOF and GOA also believed that the final rule makes it almost impossible for American citizens to build a homemade firearm. Although the regulation does not make it illegal for Americans to create what the ATF calls "privately manufactured firearms" (PMF), the rule will make it nearly impossible to get the parts needed to produce the guns. The frames and jigs required to make a firearm cannot be sold together. If a gun owner buys the items separately, the ATF will consider that to be "structuring" the purchases to get around the new regulation. If one company sells a frame, a second company sells a jig, and a customer buys the items from both companies, those companies can be charged with conspiracy.
Even if a gunsmith took in a firearm overnight to Cerakote or to install new sights, that gunsmith would have to serialize the frame. The GOF pointed out that this would put an extra burden on gunsmiths. The group worries that the rule, which it sees as arbitrary and capricious, will have a stifling effect on the industry not only because of the serialization requirements but also due to the uncertainty concerning the meaning of the rule.
The two groups also took issue with the government changing the final rule two days before it was scheduled to go into effect. Without an announcement, the ATF posted an updated version of changes in the Federal Register, sending lawyers, companies, and gun owners scrambling to figure out how the changes would affect them. The plaintiff's lawyers also didn't believe they had enough time to review the changes to see how they would affect their clients.
The judge, who constantly referred to the ATF as the "AFT," did not seem to grasp the final rule's impact on the industry.
The judge didn't feel the changes were significant enough to warrant a preliminary injunction. The judge also felt that since importers and firearms manufacturers must serialize their frames and receivers, it shouldn't be a big deal for makers of unfinished frames and receivers to serialize their products.
“GOA and GOF are disappointed that the court failed to halt the expansion of ATF's illegal gun registry and ban on so-called ‘ghost guns,’” Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America said. “It is unlawful for the Biden Administration to infringe on the Second Amendment in this manner, and we will continue to appeal and fight this case until liberty is restored and the ATF has been held accountable.”
The GOF vehemently disagrees with the judge's decision and vows to keep fighting, not only against the new rule, but until it can stop all government overreach targeted against gun owners.
Gun Owners Foundation needs your urgent support.
We just had our first setback in our legal battle against the ATF’s “ghost gun” and gun registry expansion rule.
Seventeen State Attorneys General Join GOF in Filing for Preliminary Injunction Against Biden “Ghost Gun” Rule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2022
Washington, D.C. – On Monday, Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the Biden Administration’s “Ghost Gun” and Gun Registry Final Rule, which will go into effect on August 24. Today, GOA and GOF were joined by the Attorneys General of 17 states in the filing: Arizona, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) is always on the lookout for new government excuses to take away someone’s right to keep and bear arms. Sometimes, new unconstitutional rules are boldly announced. Other times, they are kept secret until it’s too late. That’s usually how the ATF works. It often seems that ATF is not interested in protecting public safety or ensuring Second Amendment rights – instead, they want your guns, and will take any opportunity to make life more difficult for law-abiding gun owners.
Text, History and Tradition – Not Interest Balancing – At the Heart of Supreme Court’s New York Gun Rights Case
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in New York State Rifle & Pistol v. Bruen, a challenge to New York State’s discretionary concealed carry licensing scheme, which requires New Yorkers to demonstrate to the satisfaction of a government bureaucrat that they have some sort of special, individualized, good cause before being permitted to carry a firearm for self-defense.
Today Gun Owners Foundation filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a challenge to the virtual ban on concealed carry in New York State. The brief was filed on our behalf as well as that of Gun Owners of America and the Heller Foundation. We critique the Second Circuit case in Kachalsky v County of Westchester, explain how the New York licensing scheme undermines the prefatory clause of the Second Amendment addressing the People’s militia and the objective of a free state. We also show that the interest balancing test applied by the court was prohibited by Heller. We explain the true source of pre-existing rights, and show that they cannot be altered by government. Lastly, we urge the Court to write a decision designed to be difficult for the lower federal courts to undermine, as they have done with Heller and McDonald.
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