Supreme Court lets New York enforce gun law during lawsuit
WASHINGTON (AP) — New York can for now continue to enforce a sweeping new law banning guns from “sensitive places” like schools, playgrounds and Times Square, the Supreme Court said Wednesday, allowing the law to to be in effect during a judicial proceeding. on it plays outside.
The justices rejected an emergency petition by New York gun owners challenging the law. Gun owners wanted the high court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that had allowed the law to stand.
The appeals court has not finished reviewing the case, and judges are often reluctant to weigh in under these circumstances. Judges may still review the case and the law more generally in the future.
In a two-paragraph statement accompanying the court’s order, two of the court’s conservative justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, said the New York law at issue in the case “raises new and serious questions.” But they said they understood the court’s decision not to intervene now “to reflect respect” for “the appeals court’s procedures in managing its case, rather than to express any view on the merits of the case.”
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 issuing handgun permits outside the home. The ruling said Americans have the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, invalidating a New York law that required people to show a specific need to obtain a license to carry a gun outside the home. The decision was a major expansion of gun rights nationwide and resulted in challenges to other similar state laws.
A new New York law passed after the ruling broadly expanded who can get a license to carry a handgun, but it increased training requirements for applicants and required people seeking a license to provide more information including a list of their social media accounts. License applicants must also demonstrate “good moral character.” In addition, the law included a long list of “sensitive places” where firearms are prohibited, among them: schools, playgrounds, places of worship, entertainment venues, places that serve alcohol and Times Square.
U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby, however, declared parts of the law unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of some provisions. But the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit had put that decision on hold while it considered the case. Challengers of 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. It was precisely this request that the judges refused.