The Supreme Court is allowing New York to continue to enforce a sweeping new gun law banning guns from “sensitive places” such as schools and playgrounds for now while a court challenge plays out.
The justices on Wednesday turned away a plea by the law’s challengers. The gun owners wanted the high court to lift a federal appeals court order that temporarily put on hold a lower court decision blocking portions of the law. The appeals court hasn’t finished its review of the case, and justices are often reluctant to weigh in under those circumstances. The justices could still consider the case and the law more generally in the future.
New York lawmakers rewrote the state’s handgun laws over the summer after a June Supreme Court ruling invalidated New York’s old system for granting permits to carry handguns outside the home. The ruling said that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, invalidating the New York law, which required people to show a specific need to get a license to carry a gun outside the home. The ruling was a major expansion of gun rights nationwide and resulted in challenges to other, similar state laws.
The new law New York passed in the wake of the ruling broadly expanded who can get a license to carry a handgun, but it increased training requirements for applicants and required them to provide more information including a list of their social media accounts. Applicants for a license must also demonstrate “good moral character.” Beyond that, the law included a long list of “sensitive places” places where firearms are banned, among them: schools, playgrounds, places of worship, entertainment venues, places that serve alcohol and Times Square.
U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby, however, declared multiple portions of the law unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction barring certain provisions’ enforcement. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit had put that ruling on hold while it considers the case. Challengers to the law had asked the high court to step in and allow Suddaby’s ruling blocking parts of the law to go into effect while the case continues.