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New lawsuit focuses on NY's gun ban for some public and private property

Two Western New Yorkers and gun rights advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit focusing on the new gun on public and private property.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new lawsuit has been filed in the United States Court for the Western District of New York that focuses on the state's latest gun law.

On Sept. 1, Senate bill S51001 went into effect. The bill expanded the number of sensitive and restricted locations where guns could be carried. 

The plaintiffs of the lawsuit are two western New Yorkers, John Boron and Brett Christian. Additionally, the Firearms Policy Coalition and Second Amendment Foundation are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. 

The listed defendants are NYS Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen and Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. 

According to the lawsuit, filed on Sept. 13, the state's expansion of sensitive and restricted locations constitutes a "de facto ban on the carriage of loaded, operable handguns for self-defense."

Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined some of those expanded sites on Aug. 31, just before the law took effect. 

"The sensitive locations will include schools, colleges, daycares, libraries, restaurants that serve alcohol, other places, parks, work," Hochul said.

The lawsuit alleges that the law essentially creates a no concealed guns default in a variety of public and private spaces. 

"[The state] did that in response to the Supreme Court's broad decision from June of this year," attorney and legal analyst Barry Covert said. "The Bruen decision stated that sensitive uses would be upheld, such as government buildings, courthouses, and schools."

Covert believes the state could have trouble defending against this lawsuit, mainly because the new additions to the list may not have precedent with the court.

"They have to justify it historically and show that there has been a historical recognition of all these areas of sensitive uses," Covert said. 

The lawsuit claims that the new law designating sensitive locations goes "far beyond any constitutionally relevant historical justification. It goes on to say the new law makes a mockery of the recent Supreme Court decision." 

Covert says this is one of many lawsuits the state will likely be facing as it continues to challenge federal gun laws, which the taxpayers will be paying for. 

"Millions and millions of dollars to defend a statute that clearly goes way beyond what the United States Supreme Court recently indicated would be honored as a restrictive statute," Covert said. 

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