Attorney General takes action after judge temporarily blocked key parts of New York's gun law

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Monday, October 10, 2022
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New York sought more time Monday to appeal a judge's ruling that gutted parts of the state's new conceal carry law.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York sought more time Monday to appeal a judge's ruling that gutted parts of the state's new conceal carry law.

The order was stayed for three days but the state asked for a full stay until the appeal is filed and for the law to remain in place while the appeal is decided.

"The serious risk of irreparable harm to public safety and the possibility of regulatory chaos necessitates an immediate appeal," the state's motion said, asserting the decision last week threatened to "sow confusion" among the public, licensing officials, and law enforcement.

"The purpose of interim relief is to preserve the status quo, not to create turmoil during the pendency of litigation," the motion said.

The state's new gun law took effect Sept. 1 after the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down the way New York used to approach conceal carry. The new law designated "sensitive areas" -- like schools, theaters and Times Square -- as being exempt from the concealed carrying of guns, while also requiring applicants to demonstrate good moral character in order to get a permit.

Judge Glenn Suddaby in the Northern District of New York ruled parts of the new law were unconstitutional and "further entrenched" the state as a "shall-not-issue jurisdiction."

The judge said it was permissible for the state to require applicants to provide a list of character references and take 18 hours of training but the state could not require applicants to submit a list of social media accounts or sit for an in-person meeting with a licensing officer.

The ruling said the state could ban guns on mass transit and at polling places but could not designate Times Square a gun-free zone.

"It does not appear permissible for New York State to restrict concealed carry in the following place: 'the area commonly known as Times Square, as such area is determined and identified by the city of New York; provided such area shall be clearly and conspicuously identified with signage,'" the ruling said.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed the motion for a stay pending appeal.

"Today my office filed a motion to keep the entire Concealed Carry Improvement Act in effect and continue to protect communities as the appeals process moves forward. This common-sense gun control legislation is critical in our state's effort to reduce gun violence," James said in a statement.

James also said it was possible to satisfy the six plaintiffs who challenged the law without dismantling it.

"At a minimum, any relief should be narrowed to the specific plaintiffs as broader relief is grossly disproportionate to the individual harms alleged," the motion said.

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