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Federal judge rules against NY gun law on concealed carry that gives government access to social media accounts

A federal judge issued a temporary injunction on Thursday against a new New York law limiting concealed carry of firearms in the state. New York State Attorney General Letitia James said she will appeal.

U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby’s orders do not apply to all of the law, which went into effect in September after being passed by the Legislature in July.

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Suddaby struct down parts that required applicants to prove they have “good moral character,” to submit to the government their list of social media accounts, and to provide the names of members of their family to the government in order to get a concealed carry permit. His order also allows citizens to carry guns in public places, such as Times Square or parks and on subways. He struck down the part of the law that required businesses to post a statement on their walls to clearly say whether they allow concealed firearms on their premises.

“Shouldering an applicant with the burden of showing that he or she is of such ‘good moral character’ (in the face of a de facto presumption that he or she is not) is akin to shouldering an applicant with the burden of showing that he or she has a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community, which is prohibited under (the recent Supreme Court ruling),” Suddaby wrote.

“In essence, New York State has replaced its requirement that an applicant show a special need for self-protection with its requirement that the applicant rebut the presumption that he or she is a danger to himself or herself, while retaining (and even expanding) the open-ended discretion afforded to its licensing officers,” the judge wrote.

Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, issued a statement: “Anti-gunners like Kathy Hochul and Eric Adams lied and misrepresented the Second Amendment to the courts, putting New Yorkers at a great disadvantage in the midst of rising crime. We are grateful to Judge Suddaby for his quick action to restore the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Once the TRO goes into effect, GOA encourages New Yorkers to exercise their rights and to defend themselves and the ones they love.”

For the expected appeal, there will be a hostile court. The Second Appeals Court was flipped conservative by former President Donald Trump. But since Joe Biden has become president, it has flipped back to becoming a liberal court.

Biden added Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam of Connecticut, with a confirmation vote that was a “yea” by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other liberal Republicans, while Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska was a “nay” vote. Also added to a vacancy on the court was Judge Alison Nathan, who was confirmed by the Senate earlier this year, with no votes from both of Alaska’s senators. Nathan worked in the Obama White House.

Attorney General James said, “Common-sense gun control regulations help save lives. I will not back down from the fight to protect New Yorkers from repeated and baseless attacks on our state’s gun safety measures. I will continue to defend our responsible gun laws and fight for the safety of everyday New Yorkers.”

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Rain falls daily in Anchorage, yet I arise each morning with a deep sense of gratitude to God and the goodness of fellow Alaskans for the privilege of living in our great land. I pity those people who must reside in the states of New York and California, although when I consider them as voters for Gov. Hochul and Gov. Newsome the pity sort of evaporates. The dejected people of those states are moving elsewhere.

    • Ms. Downing, I must not neglect to thank you for the perfect illustration that you have selected for this column, which shows the Colt Model 1911A1 automatic pistol (aka ‘The Yankee Fist,’ and ‘Old Slabsides’) resting atop the U.S. Constitution and the American flag. At well over 100 years old, this sidearm remains a masterpiece of design and utility, and my own such pistols have served me well in daily use for over 30 years. Two thumbs up, Suzanne!

      • hasalaska,
        Yes, rumor is that John Moses Browning the creator of the model 1911, actually was with the orignal Moses, ( not Chuck Heston, former NRA honcho) on Mt. Sinai. I understand that the pistol was carried was down the mountain with the tablets, but quickly hidden because it could be construed as an Idol or Graven Image.
        Personally , I pack a Glock. Lighter, cheaper more reliable and twice the mag capacity.
        I know, I’m a heretic.

        • No, Oosik, you’re a good member of the tribe. By the way, after David lopped of Goliath’s head using the monster’s own sword, David kept that sword “in his own tent.” The governor of Judea didn’t first require David to submit a list of his social media accounts.

          • hasalaska, thank you for your kind words.
            I wonder if Goliaths sword would be the equivalent of today’s 10 mm auto? ? It should be noted that David’s sling was something less then a .380 and yet he prevailed.
            But then, David had experience fighting off Bears!

  2. Lisa Murkowski confirms all of these lefty judges who desire to take away citizens guaranteed rights under the Constitution, but Lisa also denied confirmation (Kavenaugh) of more conservative judges nominated by Donald Trump. And Lisa pretends to be a Republican, but little things like late term abortion get in the way. That’s Catholic Lisa.
    Get rid of the 42-year Murkowski Dynasty. The royals need to be flushed.

    • However, we deserve better alternative than Carpetbagger Tschibaka. I cannot understand why the Republican Party has advanced a candidate who hasn’t spent much time here recently and is otherwise so lacking.

      • Maybe we do deserve better, so… who? Got someone in mind? Maybe yourself? Perhaps a friend, or relative? Get involved. Run for office.
        If Kelly T. is running, and she is miles better than Murkowski, then she gets my vote.

      • If you ever get a chance to speak with Kelly, you will understand why the Republicans have endorsed her – Kelly Tshibaka is a much better candidate and a true Alaskan – a huge contrast to the D.C. swamp creature Lisa has become.

    • Oh, they would put you in jail for ages.
      It is OK in NY to rape, rob, assault, but carry a gun? Not acceptable in any way.

      • This is important. ‘Google’ these two words: Mencken uplifters.

        Open a web link to “The Uplifters Try It Again.” There you will find a most wonderful and scathing condemnation of gun ban lunacy, with references to the special lunacies that have long been a feature of life in the state of New York. Pass it on.


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