Sunday, October 23, 2022

NY Gun Ban at Places of Worship Violates 2nd Amendment

In Hardaway v. Nigrelli, (WD NY, Oct. 20, 2022), a New York federal district court issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the provision in New York law that prohibits possession of firearms at "any place of worship or religious observation." The suit was filed by two clergy who allege that as leaders of their churches they want to carry firearms on church premises to keep the peace. The court concluded that the state restriction violates the Second Amendment, saying in part:

Here, the state cites to a handful of enactments in an attempt to meet its "burden" to demonstrate a tradition of accepted prohibitions of firearms in places of worship or religious observation.... The notion of a "tradition" is the opposite of one-offs, outliers, or novel enactments....

[T]he Nation's history does not countenance such an incursion into the right to keep and bear arms across all places of worship across the state. The right to self-defense is no less important and no less recognized at these places.

Volokh Conspiracy has more on the decision. [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]