Judge Blocks Gun Law, Slams New York Democrats

Another New York state attempt to nullify the 2nd Amendment hit the skids last week when U.S. District Judge John Sinatra Jr. issued an injunction blocking the new law.

The Trump appointee was clear in his criticism of state lawmakers for toying with the clear intention of the Bill of Rights. Sinatra said “the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the status quo,” not some new measure that’s been on the books for a couple of months.

He added that state governments “may not eviscerate the Bill of Rights” and that every instance “is one too many.”

Sinatra cited numerous precedents, including the Heller and McDonald cases, along with last June’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, for issuing the injunction.

The June ruling ended New York’s longtime sweeping restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms outside of the home. The high court based the decision on the 2nd and 14th Amendments.

Previously, to exercise their constitutional rights, New Yorkers had to prove “a special need for self defense.” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that there is no other constitutional right that requires an individual to show “government officers some special need.”

Judge Sinatra said the sum of the previous Supreme Court decisions clearly made the New York law banning legal firearms in places of worship unconstitutional.

The right to self defense, he asserted, does not end in places of worship. Sinatra said the history of the U.S. “does not countenance such an incursion” into 2nd Amendment rights.

His preliminary injunction ordered state officers and district attorneys in Erie and Niagara counties to cease enforcement of the new law. It specifically banned gun owners from having concealed weapons in places of worship.

Two weeks earlier, Sinatra issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement until he decided the injunction request.

That request was brought by two Black church pastors who argued in federal court that they needed to defend their congregations from attacks. Both cited the racist mass shooting in a Charleston, S.C., church in 2015 that resulted in nine deaths.