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Supreme Court Lets New NY Gun Law Stand, For Now

Six months after the Supreme Court struck down a New York state law that placed strict limits on carrying guns outside the home, the court refused to block a new law enacted in response to that ruling. The court’s unsigned order gave no reasons. Challenges to the new law remain pending before a federal appeals court. Justices Samuel Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas said the law “presents novel and serious questions.” The Justices said the appeals court should address those questions first. The law, enacted in July, requires people seeking gun licenses to show that they have “good moral character” and bans guns in many public locations. The law bans guns on private property unless the owner consents to their presence.

Six New Yorkers, backed by a gun rights group, challenged the new law in the Supreme Court, saying it violated the Second Amendment and flouted the court’s decision in June, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The group that filed the suit, Gun Owners of America, says it is the “‘no compromise’ gun lobby.” In Bruen, a six-justice majority struck down a law that required people seeking a license to carry a handgun in public to demonstrate that they had a “proper cause.” The Second Amendment, Justice Thomas wrote, protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” The gun law, he wrote, gave local officials too much discretion and placed an intolerable burden on Second Amendment rights. Justice Thomas wrote that states remained free to ban guns in sensitive places, giving a few examples: schools, government buildings, legislative assemblies, polling places and courthouses. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul convened an extraordinary legislative session to seek an alternative law, vowing to combat a “gun violence crisis.”

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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