After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state's concealed carry law was unconstitutional, New York passed a new gun control law that, among other things, prohibits concealed carry in churches.
Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) says that is a problem because it is unconstitutional.
"We have a number of churches in New York that have been threatened, and we have bishops and pastors and reverends that either carry firearms or are licensed to do so, or have parishioners that are licensed to do so, who would like to carry firearms in their church for self-protection since churches have become a target," Gottlieb relays. "And so we filed suit against this New York new law that prohibits that even if the church approves it."
In the SAF announcement of the case, Gottlieb notes "the sweeping irrationality of New York's hastily-slapped-together law, which was obviously written to allow the state to dance around the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen."
"One would think by now," he continues, "the state would have wised up and changed its law to comply with not only the letter of the high court ruling, but the spirit in which the decision was written. Instead, New York officials are determined to fight progress [and] the Supreme Court's common sense by engaging in legal acrobatics that promise to mire the state in federal lawsuits for the foreseeable future."
The lawsuit, Hardaway v. Bruen, was filed in U.S, District Court for the Western District of New York. The 23-page federal complaint says Bishop Larry A. Boyd of Buffalo and Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr. of Niagara Falls are "leaders of their respective churches who wish to exercise their fundamental, individual right to bear arms in public for self-defense" and for the safety of their congregants, but are prohibited from doing so because the state law.
The Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. has also joined SAF and the two private citizens in this legal action.
Defendants are State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen, Niagara County District Attorney Brian D. Seaman, and Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.
Gottlieb argues that the right of self-defense is the "oldest human right" and adds, "New York's law is written to frustrate the exercise of that right at every turn."