The CEO of the Jewish organization Kars4Kids, which has a memorable commercial jingle, is suing the state of New York over its concealed carry statute, saying that it exposes kids to anti-Semitic violence.
Kars4Kids CEO Eliohu Mintz also serves as CEO of Oorah, a Jewish outreach organization with a summer camp in upstate New York that receives funding from Kars4Kids.
Mintz and a camp supervisor, Eric Schwartz, claim in a federal complaint that the statute exposes the camp to antisemitic attacks since it forbids private individuals from carrying weapons in locations where religious services are held.
“The violent attacks on Jewish people targeting places of worship and places where children are—tthe most vulnerable of the population—aare random and provide the victims with no notice or advance warning,” Mintz stated in a declaration filed with the complaint.
Neither the other licensed staff members nor I can be left unprepared and unarmed in the event that an evildoer decides to attack one or both of the [camp’s] campuses.”
The Concealed Carry Improvement Act, which was approved last year after the Supreme Court invalidated an earlier gun restriction, is being challenged in a number of lawsuits.
The law places restrictions on where New Yorkers are permitted to carry weapons, including a ban on carrying in “sensitive locations” like schools, hospitals, or places of worship, among others.
In May, lawmakers modified the legislation to let pastors and approved security workers carry guns in places of worship.
This case was initiated by two pastors who wanted to carry weapons in church. Amy Bellatoni, the attorney who brought the complaint on behalf of Mintz and Schwartz, informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency via email that her clients would not be affected by the revision.
The plaintiffs, according to her, are employees who have carried weapons for personal defense and want to keep doing so.
They do not qualify for the exemption because they are not certified security professionals.
Jewish security experts have said that arming everyday Jews is ineffective as a deterrent to antisemitic crimes.
But in a declaration, Schwartz, who spends the whole year living on the camp’s property (known as The Zone), said that he and his coworkers are “easily recognizable and identifiable to the public” as Orthodox Jews.
He said that throughout the years, they “have been openly targeted for discriminatory acts, including yelling ethnic and hateful slurs and throwing objects, including Molotov cocktails.”
Steve Nigrelli, the acting superintendent of the New York State Police; Ronald Stevens, the sheriff of Schoharie County, where The Zone is situated; and Susan Mallery, the county’s district attorney, are the three defendants in the lawsuit.
According to a spokesman for Nigrelli, the New York State Police decline to comment on ongoing legal matters. Requests for responses from Mallery and Stevens were not responded to.
Kars4Kids, which has its headquarters in the largely Orthodox community of Lakewood, New Jersey, has encountered the judicial system before.
Oregon and Pennsylvania imposed fines on the company in 2009 for false advertising.
They claimed that the organization concealed the fact that the majority of the funds it raised went to Orthodox outreach rather than helpless children.
The operations of the group “concerned and troubled” the attorney general of Minnesota in 2017.
Charity watchdogs have also questioned it. According to Mintz, the details of Kars4Kids’ partnership with Oorah are available on the organization’s website and are too extensive to be used in radio and television advertisements.