Friday, December 8, 2023

Appeals Court Overturns New York's Concealed Carry Signage and Social Media Rules


In a notable legal development, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated certain aspects of New York's recent gun control laws enacted in response to the state's previous may-issue carry permitting system being declared unconstitutional. Among the overturned provisions is a unique signage requirement that presumed a ban on concealed carry in publicly accessible places unless property owners explicitly allowed it.

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This ruling comes as a result of several combined legal challenges, including objections to the law mandating that individuals seeking a carry permit provide access to their social media accounts. The court's decision, which spans 261 pages, addresses multiple cases but leaves other components of the Bruen response law intact.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) played a pivotal role in two of the four cases addressed in the ruling, namely Hardaway v. Chiumento and Christian v. Chiumento. In the Christian case, the court found that the requirement for private property owners to post signs permitting concealed carry infringed upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Consequently, this signage rule, which carried a Class E felony penalty and could permanently revoke an individual's gun rights, was nullified.

The Hardaway case, which contested the prohibition of carrying firearms in places of worship, was rendered moot following a legislative amendment prompted by SAF's lawsuit. This amendment permits individuals, including plaintiff Jimmie Hardaway, to carry firearms in churches. The Firearms Policy Coalition also collaborated with SAF in these cases.

A significant victory for gun rights also emerged from the decision in a separate case not involving the SAF. The court invalidated the requirement for carry license applicants to grant government access to their private social media accounts.

Adam Kraut, SAF's Executive Director, described the outcome of the Christian case as a "small but significant victory," while Alan M. Gottlieb, founder and Executive Vice President of SAF, referred to these successes as examples of SAF's commitment to advancing firearms freedom through strategic litigation.

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