constitutional law; Second Amendment; Bruen; New York State; firearms law; concealed carry; sensitive locations


In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court held in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen that New York’s requirement, which mandated that applicants for concealed carry licenses show proper cause for carrying a handgun in public, violated the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Responding to the likely increase in individuals licensed to carry handguns in the state, New York enacted the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA). This law bans all firearms from many places of public congregation, establishes a default rule that firearms are not allowed on private property without the owner or lessee’s permission, and sets additional requirements for concealed carry license applicants to satisfy.

This Note explores the constitutionality of three major portions of the CCIA: (1) its requirement that applicants for concealed carry licenses prove good moral character, (2) its list of sensitive locations from which firearms are prohibited, and (3) its default rule that firearms are banned on private property without consent of the owner or lessee. Bruen held that laws infringing on the plain text of the Second Amendment are only constitutional if they are consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. The CCIA’s restrictions on public carry, as well as its rule mandating that applicants prove good moral character before being issued a license, make no effort to conform with that tradition. For that reason, this Note concludes that these provisions of the CCIA violate the Constitution.