December 8, 2023
A recent ruling by a federal appeals court has made significant changes to New York’s gun control law, striking down a portion that required concealed carry permit applicants to disclose their social media accounts. The court argued that while reviewing public social media posts poses no constitutional issues, mandating the disclosure of pseudonymous online identities constitutes an impermissible infringement on Second Amendment rights and raises serious First Amendment concerns.
Despite this development, the court upheld crucial aspects of the law, allowing the state to continue requiring applicants to demonstrate good moral character and disclose household and family members. New York Attorney General Letitia James welcomed the decision, emphasizing its permission for the state to enforce critical provisions of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act.
Moreover, the appeals court also struck down the state’s default ban on guns on private property and rejected the enforcement of a ban on guns at houses of worship. The court questioned how such bans could advance the interests of religious organizations, emphasizing the importance of allowing them the agency to decide whether to permit firearms.
While the decision maintains the majority of New York’s concealed carry requirements, additional challenges to the law are still awaiting decisions in lower courts, and the matter might eventually find its way to the Supreme Court for a final resolution.