NYSRPA challenged a New York state law requiring New Yorkers to show a justifiable reason for having a concealed-carry permit to carry guns in public places. The League raised the implications of this case on polling places.
Two members of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) challenged an over 100-year-old New York law requiring residents to show proper cause to carry concealed firearms in public places. The case was dismissed by the district court in 2018, upholding the New York law, and then the case was appealed to the Second Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal in 2020.
NYSRPA appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court in late 2020, and the Court agreed to hear the case in early 2021. The League of Women Voters of the United States, along with the Leagues of Women Voters of New York and Florida, filed an amicus brief in September of 2021 raising the harmful implications on polling places of a decision weakening New York’s common-sense gun safety law. In June of 2022, the Supreme Court struck down New York’s law, further weakening gun safety laws across the country. Yet all nine Justices critically affirmed polling places as “sensitive places” in need of protection, leaving the door open for states to keep guns out of polling places.
The Court’s reasoning fails to consider the issue at hand — a state’s ability to protect residents from gun violence — and focuses instead on details that undermine the very function of federal courts to evaluate the law. With only the pleadings to consider, the Court employs a harmfully narrow view of the Constitution and eliminates part of a well-established test for evaluating a law in a modern society where gun violence in sacred places is running rampant. Instead of providing guidance to states and protecting the remaining structures of democracy, this opinion blesses the erosion of it.
The League was represented by Cooley LLP.
New York District Court Dismisses Case
The District Court dismisses NYSRPA’s case based on previous case law.
Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal
The Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirms the lower court's decision to dismiss the case.