Jan 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court allows N.Y. to enforce gun law as legal challenges continue

The Supreme Court of the United States building are seen in Washington D.C., United States on December 28, 2022.

The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 28, 2022. Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that New York's new gun control law can be enforced, at least temporarily, while legal challenges play out.

Driving the news: The high court rejected an emergency request by some gun owners who oppose the new law, which expanded training requirements for applicants seeking to carry a handgun and requested additional information from prospective gun owners, AP reports.

  • They asked the Supreme Court to lift a federal appeals court order that temporarily paused a lower court decision that blocked parts of the law.
  • "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," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a statement.

The big picture: The Supreme Court said in June of last year that New York's gun law, which required people applying to get a license to carry a concealed weapon to show that they have "proper cause" to carry a firearm, violated the Constitution.

  • The majority opinion said that it is a constitutional right to carry a weapon in public for self-defense purposes.
  • It was the first Second Amendment case heard by the Supreme Court in more than a decade, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez reports.

What they're saying: "We have a right to enact commonsense measures to protect our communities, and I am pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow New York’s concealed carry gun law to remain in effect," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

  • "Too many New Yorkers are plagued by gun violence, and we know that basic gun laws help save lives every day," James said.
  • "My office will continue to use every tool at our disposal to protect New Yorkers and defend our responsible gun laws."

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional context.

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