Republicans in the state Assembly have signed onto a federal lawsuit challenging New York's concealed carry law, Minority Leader Will Barclay on Thursday announced.
The suit is one of several legal challenges to the law, which limits where guns can be taken in public in parts of New York state and provides for new requirements to obtaining a concealed carry license in the state.
Republicans are joining Antonyuk v. Nigrelli, which is currently in the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Republicans in the chamber had previously filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the lawsuit.
“New York Democrats willfully disregard our constitution and infringe on the rights of citizens whenever it supports their political agenda,” Barclay said. “The Concealed Carry Improvement Act was a hastily-enacted publicity maneuver that tears down basic constitutional rights while doing nothing to prevent gun crimes. The governor even admitted she has no data that supports the need for it. I’m confident this law will be struck down. Our focus should be on attacking gun violence instead of attacking gun ownership.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Democratic-led state Legislature last summer approved the new concealed carry law after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling found broad swaths of a century-old concealed carry law in the state was unconstitutional.
Hochul has defended the measure as a necessary law to protect New Yorkers and make the state safer. She has also expressed confidence the measure will be upheld in court.
"We believe the governor should have the right that was in place for 108 years to protect the citizens of our state," Hochul said last year. "When the Supreme Court struck down the entire law, we knew we could continue to work. Whether it's on this law or entire gun laws, I believe people in this state deserve to be protected."
Still, the state budget submitted by Hochul has proposed changes to the law. The $227 billion spending plan would allow guns to be carried in houses of worship, a provision that has also been challenged in court.