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Supreme Court Won’t Touch New York’s Strict New Gun Law — For Now

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The Supreme Court declined to block New York’s concealed carry law Wednesday, saying that the state’s Second Circuit appeals court should address the “novel and serious questions” about it first, according to a statement by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas.

Six New York residents and gun rights group Gun Owners of America (GOA) submitted an application to the Supreme Court in December requesting it strike down New York’s concealed carry law, alleging that it directly violated the Second Amendment and contradicted an earlier Supreme Court decision, according to The New York Times. The law, known as the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA), requires residents to show they have “good moral character” to receive a permit and bans guns in many public places, including on private property without the owner’s consent, according to the legislation.

“The New York law at issue in this application presents novel and serious questions under both the First and the Second Amendments,” the justices wrote. “The District Court found, in a thorough opinion, that the applicants were likely to succeed on a number of their claims, and it issued a preliminary injunction as to twelve provisions of the challenged law.”

The CCIA was implemented after New York’s original gun law was struck down by the Supreme Court during the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case. GOA challenged the new law, asking the Supreme Court to “compel” New York to follow the high court’s June ruling.

“Today, the Supreme Court allowed New York’s concealed carry gun law to remain in effect pending appeal. We have a right to enact common sense measures that protect our communities and save lives, and we will continue to defend this law,” Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on Twitter.

The Bruen decision was decided by a six-justice majority, and struck down New York’s concealed carry restrictions, which required residents to demonstrate “proper cause” before receiving a concealed carry license. Following the ruling, New York switched the concealed carry requirement from “proper cause” to “good moral character,” but GOA believes the law is “retaliation against the Supreme Court by state government officials in defiance of the court’s authority and the Constitution,” according to a GOA release.

“We have said it before, and we will say it again, states must come into compliance with Bruen,” Sam Paredes, spokesman for the board of directors for the Gun Owners Foundation, said in the release.

The legality of the CCIA will be decided in the Second Circuit appeals court, but the Supreme Court justices urged the court to move quickly, according to the NYT.

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