US District Judge Strikes Down NYC Gun Control Measures as Unconstitutional

On October 24, 2023, United States District Judge John P. Cronan issued a ruling declaring that New York City’s policy that allows public officials to subjectively deny firearm possession permits infringe on the Second Amendment.

This law generally allowed licensing officials to deny permits to own rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Cronan ruled that allowing the New York City government to deny licenses to applicants who are “not of good moral character” or when they feel “other good cause” exists allows excessive discretion and does not align with how governments at all levels have historically regulated firearms in the US.  He determined that such restrictions are unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s most recent Second Amendment test.

“This case is not about the ability of a state or municipality to impose appropriate and constitutionally valid regulations governing the issuance of firearm licenses and permits,” Judge Cronan wrote in his ruling for Srour v. NYC. “The constitutional infirmities identified herein lie not in the City’s decision to impose requirements for the possession of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Rather, the provisions fail to pass constitutional muster because of the magnitude of discretion afforded to City officials in denying an individual their constitutional right to keep and bear firearms, and because of Defendants’ failure to show that such unabridged discretion has any grounding in our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” 

This ruling is part of a broader fallout that came about after the Supreme Court’s landmark New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision where numerous laws nationwide have been struck down as unconstitutional based on the standard established in this Supreme Court ruling.

For gun owners in blue states such as New York, the courts are the only option for bringing about political change. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners rankings, New York is ranked in 51st place. There’s very little for pro-gun policy reforms in a state with such a monolithic anti-gun consensus in its state legislature. 

In the meantime, the courts will have to roll back anti-gun transgressions in blue states. Sadly, that’s the bitter reality of life for gun owners in anti-gun jurisdictions.

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