BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association filed a challenge to the state's new concealed carry laws in federal court at the end of last month — a day before the rules went into effect.
Executive Director Tom King said the suit challenges almost all aspects of the laws the state Legislature passed during a special session this summer, including its list of defined sensitive locations and social media checks as part of the licensing process.
"How it just kind of sticks a thumb in the eye of the Supreme Court," King said.
On the same day NYSRPA submitted its suit, another federal judge threw out a similar challenge by Gun Owners of America, ruling the plaintiffs lacked standing. The judge did, however, outline reasons he believed the package of laws could otherwise be found unconstitutional.
King doesn't believe those criticisms necessarily mean anything to the association's case though.
"It would be if we were going to court and he was the judge that was going to be handling it, but we have a totally different judge and she may have totally different thoughts on the subject," he said.
King is confident in NYSRPA's standing as its returning two plaintiffs from the Bruen Supreme Court case, in which it originally successfully challenged the state's concealed carry permitting process, prompting the Legislature to pass the new laws. The executive director said because the law is in effect now, there are clear aggrieved parties.
One sector, he said NYSRPA is struggling to get, are businesses that must now post a sign to allow concealed carry. He believes they are worried about losing business or becoming a target of the state if they join.
"We had four signed on and after they talked to their lawyers and their possible ramifications, they asked to be removed," King said. "We're still looking for some. If there's anybody out there who wants to be a plaintiff, let us know."
Meanwhile, Buffalo developer Carl Paladino has directed his attorney to stop moving forward with a lawsuit he filed largely focusing on the business component. Paladino, who filed prior to losing a congressional primary, said it's a "no-brainer" the law is unconstitutional there are other similar actions across the state.
"Let someone else fund it," Paladino said.
However, he said the chief reason was to not let NYRPA and King, who he called "self-serving" and "parasitic," benefit from his action. NYSRPA endorsed Paladino's opponent in the primary.
"What other people are filing just it doesn't make a difference to us because look what's happened so far. Paladino's was basically thrown out. GOA's was thrown out. We don't want to be part of that. We bring successful lawsuits," King said.