What To Know Today
New York unveils new requirements, sensitive place restrictions on guns in public. The rules, which went into effect on Thursday, are the result of a new state law amending public carry requirements. That was in response to the Bruen SCOTUS decision that invalidated New York’s discretionary requirement that applicants have a “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry permit. Among other things, the new law updates permit requirements for applicants, like requiring 16 hours of training and submitting character references and social media history in order to demonstrate “good moral character.” The law also bars gun carrying in many locations, including private property unless proprietors allow it and anywhere the state has deemed a sensitive location. New York City officials were still scrambling to roll out the rules yesterday, including how — and where — Times Square would become a “gun free zone.” A spike in applications before the law’s rollout: Concealed carry permit applications have gone up across the state since June, including a 54 percent increase in New York City, according to the NYPD.
A judge denied a challenge to the new law. But his ruling suggests it will be tough to defend in court. U.S. District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby on Thursday denied a gun rights group’s request to block New York’s law hours before it went into effect, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing. But he also suggested their legal arguments had merits and that many aspects of the law — including its broad interpretation of what constitutes “sensitive locations” to restrict guns — were likely unconstitutional. That’s a sure warning sign for the law going forward, given that further challenges are all but assured.
An argument for why the Bruen case removes clarity for how courts assess gun laws. Last week, a federal judge ruled that there was no constitutionally valid historical precedent for a Texas law restricting people aged 18 to 20 from carrying handguns in public. The opinion showed the strong influence of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen, which asks courts to interpret whether there is a convincing historical tradition for gun regulations when evaluating their legality. In an analysis for the Duke Center for Firearms Law, gun law expert Jacob Charles argues that the test is problematic regardless of one’s opinions on gun rights. He points to the fact that nearly half of states had laws like Texas on the books in the late 1800s. But that didn’t satisfy the judge. “Despite the Bruen majority’s insistence otherwise, the history-only test neither circumscribes judicial discretion nor provides clarity or predictability to the law,” Charles writes. “In many ways, Bruen magnifies discretion, offering judges the opportunity to choose from whichever historical sources they want, with little guidance or guardrails.”
The bulk of Philadelphia’s violence prevention money may not be felt immediately. A report on the city’s FY 2023 budget from the City Controller’s Office analyzed the $208 million the city allocated to fight gun violence, a 35 percent increase from the previous year. Of that money, the analysis found that about 21 percent goes toward “evidence-based intervention programs that have been found to yield short-term reductions in shootings and homicides, with the rest of the funding going towards programs that will likely take years to produce measurable reductions in gun violence.” The rest of the money, the report argues, is geared toward solutions on a longer time horizon or that don’t have a lot of evidence about short-term effects.
41 — the number of people who died by homicide in Baltimore in June, the deadliest month since the summer of 2015. This is who they were. [The Baltimore Banner]