BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Last month, a temporary restraining order was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Hon. John Sinatra, preventing prosecution of people for carrying a concealed gun in a place of worship.
On Thursday evening, a decision and order was issued by Sinatra, granting plaintiffs Reverend Dr. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr. and Larry Boyd’s motion for a preliminary injunction in their lawsuit against Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, Niagara County District Attorney Brian Seaman and New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven Nigrelli.
“Previously, Judge Sinatra issued a temporary preliminary injunction pending his decision on the motion,” the Erie County District Attorney’s office said.
What this new order means is that the inability to prosecute people for carrying a concealed weapon in a church continues.
The matter relates to NY Penal Law 265.01-e(2)(c) (places of worship or religious observation) — criminal possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun in a sensitive location. The DA’s office says that effective immediately, they’re prohibited from enforcing that law.
Hardaway is the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Niagara Falls. According to court documents, he says he’s “currently licensed to carry a handgun pursuant to New York Law with a license issued by Niagara County.”
The same documents say that he used to “consistently carry a firearm” on the church’s premises “for self-defense.”
Boyd, who serves as pastor at Open Praise Full Gospel Baptist, also said he’s licensed to carry and would do so for self-defense, according to court documents.
“The preliminary injunction remains in effect pending the disposition of the case,” the DA’s office wrote.