B.L.U.F. The DA for the County of Niagara, NY who is a defendant (bad guys) in this case has filed a brief saying with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals saying that parts of the CCIA are unconstitutional and that the District Judge got it right when they issued a preliminary injunction against the state and the state’s agents.

On 2023-02-27 Brian D. Seaman, the District Attorney for the County of Niagara, New York filed a brief with the Second Circuit court.

Plaintiffs-Appellees moved for a temporary restraining order and then a preliminary injunction enjoining Superintendent Nigrelli, Niagara County District Attorney Seaman, and Erie County District Attorney Flynn and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in concert or participation with them, from enforcing all of New York Penal Law § 265.01-e(2)(c), and their regulations, policies, and practices implementing it. (J.A. 99-125). The district court granted both Plaintiffs-Appellees’ requests for injunctive relief. (J.A. 9-52). Superintendent Nigrelli now appeals from the interlocutory Decision and Order of Judge Sinatra granting the preliminary injunction. (J.A. 343).

As is set forth below, the district court properly granted the preliminary injunction for the purpose of furthering a judicial determination as to the constitutionality of New York Penal Law § 265.01-e(2)(c) and said decision should be affirmed.
Brief for Defendant-Appellee Brian D. Seaman, in His Official Capacity as District Attorney for the County of Niagara, New York

This is the defendant in the case stating that in his opinion the Judge got it right when he granted the injunction against the defendants. He is arguing for the plaintiffs! This is great news.

As the question before the Second Circuit is whether or not the injunctions should be stayed. It is not if parts of the CCIA are constitutional. It is only if the injunction should be stayed. Currently it is stayed.

Antonyuk was appealed to the Supreme court when the Second Circuit court stayed the district court’s injunction issued by Judge Suddaby. They argued that the district court had given a thorough explanation of the courts reasoning in granting the injunction but the Second Circuit just said “nope” and stayed the injunction.

The Supreme Court heard the request and then denied the appeal but, and this is a huge but, Justice Alito with Justice Thomas concurring issued an opinion while joining with the denial. In the opinion they told the plaintiffs that this was being denied for procedural reasons and that they had to wait for the Second Circuit court to do their thing. If the Second Circuit Court did not provide a thorough explanation of the reason for the stay and in a timely fashion the plaintiffs should come back to the Supreme Court again.

This left the Second Circuit under a great deal of pressure. TheThey then scheduled the all the CCIA cases that had stays to be heard on 2023-03-20. The brief of DA Seaman is a response as ordered by the court.

It looks as if this DA and maybe the Erie DA were included as defendants because they needed to be. The plaintiffs reside in those counties so those DA are the people that would be prosecuting them. The actual target of the suit is the State of New York. While Seaman stands up for the second amendment, DA of Erie County, John Flynn, goes the easy route and says Hand me the popcorn and leave me out of this

My client takes no position on the Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, except that he asserts, and respectfully submits, that no award of attorney fees, costs, or disbursements can properly be entered against him inasmuch as he had nothing to do with the New York Legislature’s enactment of the challenged gun control legislation.

WHEREFORE, deponent respectfully asks that if the Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is granted, that any Order granting said motion not contain any provision for the award of attorney fees, disbursements, or costs as against Defendant, JOHN J. FLYNN, in his official capacity as District Attorney for the County of Erie
Affidavit in response to plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction

This DA doesn’t seem to want any part of the CCIA. He likely sides with us, at least post Bruen.

As stated above, there is but a single question before the Circuit Court, here is how DA Seaman phrases that question:

Whether the district court abused its discretion in issuing a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of New York Penal Law § 265.01-e(2)(c) finding the Plaintiffs-Appellees met their burden of establishing irreparable harm, a likelihood of success on the merits, and a public interest in issuance of said injunction.

Niagara County District Attorney Seaman respectfully submits the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding a preliminary injunction as Plaintiffs-Appellees met their burden of establishing an entitlement to a preliminary injunction.
Seaman, “Brief for Defendant”

In his arguments in support of the plaintiffs, Seaman makes the following statement.

The Supreme Court has made clear that individuals have the right to carry handguns publicly for self-defense. (J.A. 36). As noted by the district court, “New York’s exclusion is valid only if the State ‘affirmatively prove[s]’ that the restriction is part of the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” (J.A. 36 citing Bruen, 142 S.Ct. at 2127). Since the Second Amendment is the very product of an interest balancing, already conducted by “the People,” which “elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms for self-defense”, the Court constructed a rigorous test in determining whether this restriction is part of the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Id. at 1231 citing Heller, 554 U.S. at 635.
Seaman, “Brief for Defendant”

The important part of that quote is “the very product of interest balancing.” In Heller the Supreme Court said that you don’t get to interest balance (means-end) the second amendment because that was already done when the people adopted the Bill of Rights.

When the gun grabbers scream that the people should have a say in the Second Amendment, what it means and how arms are regulated, they totally miss the fact that this has already happened. The fact that it was done 200+ years ago, or 50 years ago or yesterday doesn’t mean that they get a “do over”.

We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad. We would not apply an “interest-balancing” approach to the prohibition of a peaceful neo-Nazi march through Skokie. See National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, 432 U.S. 43, 97 S.Ct. 2205, 53 L.Ed.2d 96 (1977) (per curiam). The First Amendment contains the freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified, which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclosure of state secrets, but not for the expression of extremely unpopular and wrong headed views. The Second Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very product of an interest balancing by the people—which Justice BREYER would now conduct for them anew. And whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 – Supreme Court 2008

Double emphasis added.

Here is an important part of the Bruen as was mentioned in Judge Sinatra, Jr.’s Decision and Order tradition” requires “continuity” as opposed to one-offs, outliers, or novel enactments, which Superintendent Nigrelli unsuccessfully attempts to cite in order to meet his burden of demonstrating a tradition of accepted prohibitions of firearms in places of worship or religious observation. (J.A. 42)

This is part of Judge Benitez’s order to the State. He ordered that the state present to him a list of laws that show history and tradition supporting the infringements the State wants. He also ordered that they report when the laws they are using were repealed or overturned.

That repealed or overturned is important as it shows continuity of that law. So if the State claims it can ban a class of magazines because there is a history of banning a class of knives (Bowie knives) then they must also show that there is continuity of those laws banning a class of knives.

One of the issues when asking for a TRO or preliminary injunction is that the plaintiffs must show that there will be harm done to them if the TRO or injunction is not granted. The state, in 2A cases, will often argue that it isn’t a big enough burden (interest balancing) to show irreparable harm and thus a TRO or preliminary injunction is not appropriate.

First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury. Roman Cath. Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, 141S.Ct. 63, 67 (2020) quoting Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373 (1976). Seaman, “Brief for Defendant”

This means that any infringement on a core right is, by definition, a irreparable injury.

It is so nice to see state officials, even in such horrid anti-gun states as New York, stand up for the rights of The People. This is even more powerful when you consider that Buffalo New York is part of the Buffalo Niagara economic zone. I.e. it is part of both Erie and Niagara counties.

This brief from DA Seaman came after the Buffalo shooting.

Spread the love

By awa

2 thoughts on “<i>Hardaway v. Nigerelli</i> NY CCIA update”
  1. I rather like and find helpful the notes on the right side of the articles.

    Its looking like Bruen is set to become one of the most important decisions like DC vs Heller. It has given me some much needed hope in the US courts system to see it referenced and used as it was written to overturn weasel worded shenanigans and return some power to the citizens and our rights.

    Especially grin inducing was the inclusion of laws that were overturned. Got a dark little chuckle from that read.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.