- The Washington Times
Friday, November 4, 2022

A federal judge has halted New York officials from enforcing the state’s ban on carrying firearms in places of worship.

In a 44-page order on Thursday, Judge John L. Sinatra Jr., a Trump appointee, said the restriction — which makes it a felony to carry a gun at a church or religious institution or event — runs afoul of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent.

“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,” the judge wrote in his order issuing an injunction.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that any gun control law should only be upheld if it is consistent with the nation’s history and traditions related to the Second Amendment.

The historic ruling struck down New York’s gun licensing scheme as unlawful since it required people to show proper cause — or a special need — for carrying a gun for self-defense. Justice Clarence Thomas, who authored the opinion for the court, said that infringed on New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights.

After the Supreme Court ruling, New York lawmakers issued a new revamped gun control measure just days later.

It’s been challenged in the courts for continuing to run afoul of the Second Amendment.

One portion of the legislation lists dozens of locations where it is unlawful to carry a firearm. Critics say the lengthy list makes it impossible to carry a gun — even with a license — in nearly all public places.

On the list were places of worship.

Two Baptist pastors brought the lawsuit, saying they previously carried firearms while on the premises of their churches for self-defense, but the new law curtailed their ability to do so.

The case is Hardaway v. Nigrelli.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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