Carl Paladino, a Republican congressional candidate in New York, is planning to file a lawsuit against police personnel to stop the enforcement of a new state gun law, which passed last week and which he said is “twice as bad” as the one the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down.
The law prohibits gun owners from possessing a firearm in a long list of “sensitive” locations, including schools, churches, libraries, concerts, and protests.
The also law requires people who apply for firearm licenses to provide four character references and submit a list of their social media accounts from the past three years. The latter provision, however, could face challenges under the First Amendment as well as the Second Amendment.
“Can you imagine how the licensing entity could possibly investigate all that for the millions of gun owners that we have in the state of New York? Can you imagine the actual implementation of such ridiculousness? And they want you to disclose who your family members are. And they basically want to deprive you of your First Amendment right to free speech,” Paladino said, telling The Federalist that he is funding the lawsuit himself.
Paladino said that after the Supreme Court declared New York’s previous gun law unconstitutional, Democrats “came back with a vengeance and passed a law that’s twice as bad as the original law.” In response to the ruling from the high court, the state legislature called an extraordinary session to pass the anti-gun bill, which Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law on July 1.
Despite his criticism of the law, Paladino supports some of its increased restrictions, such as “training and more in-depth background checks,” which he called “reasonable under the circumstances.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect that members of New York law enforcement are the defendants in Paladino’s lawsuit.