The Buckeye Institute Urges Court to Overturn New York’s Unconstitutional Gun Law

Mar 14, 2023

Columbus, OH – On Monday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in Christian v. Nigrelli with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of Project 21, a national network of black political, civic, and business leaders. In its brief, The Buckeye Institute argues that New York’s Conceal Carry Improvement Act violates the right of the citizens of New York, particularly black New Yorkers, to keep and bear arms, which the U.S. Constitution guarantees.

“For decades, African Americans and other racial minorities were the targets of firearms regulations that prevented them from exercising their right to bear arms, regulations that were often enacted with racial animus,” said David C. Tryon, director of litigation at The Buckeye Institute. “But as The Buckeye Institute argues on behalf of its client, ‘Historical regulations designed to oppress racial minorities or show distrust or animus towards “disfavored” groups, cannot be the basis for infringing on the right to bear arms.’”

In New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly told New York that it was unconstitutional to deny people their Second Amendment rights by forcing citizens to prove they have a “special need” before they could obtain a license to carry a firearm. In its brief, The Buckeye Institute shows that New York has simply substituted “special need” with “moral character” to deny members of disfavored groups—such as minorities and the urban poor—their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

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UPDATE: On December 8, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against all but two of the Second Amendment claims, partially relying on the racially motivated historical statutes that The Buckeye Institute condemned in its amicus brief.