Supreme Court declines to block New York gun law as appeal proceeds
The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to block portions of New York’s new gun control law while a group’s legal challenge proceeds.
A lower court previously paused key provisions of the law, which was enacted following the Supreme Court’s landmark gun ruling in June that enshrined a right to carry handguns outside the home, but the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals later allowed the law’s enforcement to resume as legal proceedings continued.
The group of individuals who filed the challenge then asked the Supreme Court last month to vacate the circuit court’s decision.
No justices publicly dissented from Wednesday’s order declining to do so, but Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a statement that was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas suggesting the justices did not consider the merits of the case.
“I understand the Court’s denial today to reflect respect for the Second Circuit’s procedures in managing its own docket, rather than expressing any view on the merits of the case,” Alito wrote. “Applicants should not be deterred by today’s order from again seeking relief if the Second Circuit does not, within a reasonable time, provide an explanation for its stay order or expedite consideration of the appeal.”
The high court’s ruling last year in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen struck down New York’s requirement for concealed carry permit applicants to show “proper cause,” holding that it was unconstitutional because gun control measures must be consistent with the nation’s “historical tradition.”
New York proceeded to enact a new law, titled the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, that required applicants to demonstrate “good moral character” and provide social media accounts and contact information for family members.
After the group challenged the law, a federal district judge ruled those portions unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling, blocking their enforcement as well as provisions that prohibited firearms in locations including churches, parks and places where alcohol is served.
The 2nd Circuit in December eliminated the pause, granting New York’s request to continue enforcing the law as the challengers’ fuller appeal proceeds.
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