On February 8, 2023, the Knight Institute filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit in Antonyuk v. Nigrelli, a case challenging several aspects of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act, including a requirement that concealed-carry applicants provide a list of their social media accounts to the State. The Institute’s amicus brief addresses only the law’s social media registration requirement, arguing that it violates the First Amendment. The Institute filed the amicus brief on behalf of itself and five gun owners’ associations—the Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association, the DC Project Foundation, the Liberal Gun Club, the National African American Gun Association, and Operation Blazing Sword–Pink Pistols.
In its brief, the Knight Institute argues that the social media registration requirement burdens the right of applicants to speak anonymously and to associate privately and that it will inevitably chill protected speech, without any meaningful evidence that it will prevent gun violence. The brief also argues that the social media registration requirement will invite discrimination, suppress criticism, and open the door for similar requirements in other contexts. Although gun regulation often promotes First Amendment rights by ensuring that citizens feel safe when they express themselves and associate with others, this social media registration requirement imposes a substantial burden on those same rights and should be invalidated.
Status: Opinion filed on December 8, 2023, affirming the district court's preliminary injunction blocking the social media registration requirement and remanding for further proceedings.
Case Information: Antonyuk v. Nigrelli, No. 22-2908, 22-2972 (2d Cir.).