Judge Blocks New York Ban on Concealed Carry in Places of Worship

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

District Judge John L. Sinatra Jr. issued on Thursday a temporary restraining order blocking New York’s prohibition against concealed carry in places of worship.

The order took effect immediately.

The ban on concealed carry in places of worship was contained in the larger body of gun controls signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in reaction to the Supreme Court of the United States’ June 23, 2022, decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen. That decision struck down New York’s proper cause requirement for concealed carry permit issuance.

Democrat lawmakers in New York responded to Bruen by passing more gun controls and restrictions, a ban on concealed carry in places of worship among them.

The suit against New York’s ban on concealed carry in places of worship was brought by Trinity Baptist Church’s Rev. Jimmie Hardaway Jr. and Open Praise Full Gospel Baptist Church’s Bishop Larry A. Boyd, and joined by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).

Rev. Hardaway noted that he has a New York concealed carry permit and regularly carried a pistol in his church for defense of himself and his congregation. Bishop Boyd likewise noted that he is licensed to carry a handgun and did so for defense of himself and his congregants prior to New York’s ban on concealed carry in places of worship.

Judge Sinatra followed the jurisprudence set forth in NYSRPA v. Bruen (2022), noting:

In Bruen, the Court made the Second Amendment test crystal clear: regulation in this area is permissible only if the government demonstrates that the regulation is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of sufficiently analogous regulations….New York fails that test. The state’s exclusion is, instead, inconsistent with the Nation’s historical traditions, impermissibly infringing on the right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.

He observed: “Ample Supreme Court precedent addressing the individual’s right to keep and bear arms—from Heller and McDonald to its June 22 decision in Bruen—dictates that New York’s place of worship restriction is…unconstitutional.”

Sinatra’s decision came less than a week after the motion for a temporary restraining order was filed.

SAF’s Alan Gottlieb reacted to the decision by saying, “We’re delighted with the quick action by Judge Sinatra. We believe this law to be wholly in violation of not only the letter but the spirit of the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen.”

The case is Hardaway v. Negrelli, No. 22-CV-771 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.


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