Federal Judge Throws a Big Wrench in New York’s Place of Worship Prohibition

Judge John L. Sinatra Jr, the judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, recently issued a temporary restraining order in a case that the Second Amendment Foundation filed that challenged New York State’s new concealed carry law ruling that the state’s “place of worship” restriction is unconstitutional. 

“Ample Supreme Court precedent addressing the individual’s right to keep and bear arms—from Heller and McDonald to its June 22nd, 2022, decision in Bruen—dictates that New York’s place of worship restriction is equally unconstitutional,” District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. said in hud ruling.

The order is set to take place immediately and bans the New York State government’s enforcement of this provision.

“We’re delighted with the quick action by Judge Sinatra,” declared SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We believe this law to be wholly in violation of not only the letter but the spirit of the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.”

The case in question is known as Hardaway v. Bruen. Other parties joining the case are the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., who is doing so on behalf of Bishop Larry A. Boyd of Buffalo and Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr., of Niagara Falls. 

“As we noted in our petition for the TRO,” Gottlieb stated, “Reverend Hardaway has almost always carried a firearm for self-defense on Sundays and at services on the premises of the churches he has pastored. New York has now stripped Reverend Hardaway, Bishop Boyd, and other New Yorkers of their ability to defend themselves should the need arise at their places of worship. The restrictive new statute prevented both men from doing so.”

According to Gotlieb, the motion was recently filed by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson, and John W. Tienken with Cooper & Kirk, PLLC in Washington, D.C., and Nicolas J. Rotsko at Phillips Lytle, LLP in Buffalo.” ‘

New York is one of the most anti-Second Amendment states in the nation. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s Best States for Gun Owners rankings, New York is ranked in a horrific 51st place. Without a doubt, the Empire State is one of the worst places for civilian gun ownership.

At this juncture, only lawfare and nullification measures where gun owners ignore the state government’s gun control edicts are the only ways that New York gun owners can see any meaningful changes in public policy. 

That’s how the cookie crumbles in many blue states these days.

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