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Supreme Court Waves Off Bid by NY Gun Retailers to Block New Concealed Carry Law

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The U.S. Supreme Court has once again turned down a request to block a new concealed carry law from taking effect in New York months after the full court struck down an earlier version as unconstitutional.

This time, the court rejected a plea from gun retailers in the state on Wednesday who argued that the law once again violates the Second Amendment and is harmful to their businesses. Notably, there were no dissents in the order or any explanations from any of the justices regarding their refusal to grant the request.

“We are disappointed that not one of the nine justices saw fit to grant the plaintiffs some stay of enforcement of the new laws against them,” Paloma Capanna, the lead attorney for the New York gun retailers, told Fox News Digital in a Wednesday interview following the decision.

“We are challenging the ability of the state of New York to target dealers in firearms in the lawful stream of commerce, to put them out of business, which is what the new laws will do,” Capanna added. “So it really was unfortunate to see that we couldn’t get any emergency temporary injunction against those laws.”

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New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, praised the court’s ruling, claiming that the state’s “gun safety laws help save lives and keep our state safer,” according to Fox News.0

Last week, the nation’s highest court left in place the state of New York’s updated concealed carry law that, among other things, prohibits the carrying of guns in “sensitive locations” as lower court proceedings against the statute proceed.

The nation’s highest court rebuffed a request from gun rights groups to block the law after justices ruled over the summer in a 6-3 decision that a previously concealed carry statute upon which the current one is modeled unconstitutionally restricted a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.

“No justices dissented in the ruling, but Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said in a statement that they believed the ruling was to ‘reflect respect’ for the appeals court that had previously let the law stay in effect, and did not ‘[express] any view on the merits of the case,’” Forbes noted in a summary of the ruling.

“Gun owners asked the Supreme Court to block the law after a district court judge previously blocked it from staying in effect, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals then overruled that decision and let the law stand as the litigation against it moved forward,” the report noted further.

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The new law, which was quickly passed after the nation’s high court struck down a previous concealed carry law in June that required applicants to show “proper cause” to carry a gun, implements requirements to obtain a concealed carry license while also imposing specific guidelines and restrictions about when guns can be carried in public. “Sensitive” locations include barring firearms from being carried in and near schools, churches, and hospitals.

The legality and constitutionality of the New York law will now play out in lower courts but will likely again come before the U.S. Supreme Court, especially given the take from Thomas and Alito that Wednesday’s decision has nothing to do with deciding the merits of the case itself.

In June, the high court issued its most significant pro-Second Amendment decision in nearly two decades when justices ruled that the state’s previous concealed carry law was unconstitutionally restrictive.

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The ruling, experts say, was significant because it means similarly designed concealed carry laws, limited primarily to blue states, are also likely to be successfully challenged.

“This decision is a big deal,” FiveThirtyEight noted in the wake of the ruling. “Previously, the court had only said that the Constitution protected the ability to have a gun inside the home for self-defense. In that decision, which came down in 2008, the justices didn’t rule on how guns carried outside the home could be regulated. It took almost 15 years for the justices to come back to that question, but now they have.”

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The Second Amendment “protect[s] an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas in the majority opinion for Thursday’s ruling. As such, FiveThirtyEight continued, statues like the one in New York, “which required people who wanted a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show they have a good reason, are no longer allowed.”

The analysis went on to predict a “flood” of new litigation in states with similarly restrictively concealed carry laws.

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