A federal appeals court ruled Friday that New York state can prohibit permitted gun owners from carrying concealed weapons into theaters, bars, public parks and other public spaces. The ruling is the first from a federal appeals court to consider where legally licensed gun owners have a right to go armed since the Supreme Court last year announced a broader interpretation of the Second Amendment that called a range of gun regulations into quesition, the Wall Street Journal reports. That high court ruling, from June 2022, struck down strict New York standardsfor obtaining a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. After the decision, New York enacted a new licensing and carry regime called the Concealed Carry Improvement Act. The new law designated scores of public areas as “sensitive locations”—including parks, stadiums, bars, protest rallies—where handguns are forbidden regardless of permit status.
A three-judge panel of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals left in place the bulk of New York’s new gun-free zones, disagreeing with a trial judge who last year found many of the limitations unconstitutional.
The panel found that many of the restrictions were consistent with the nation’s historical traditions of firearms regulation, rejecting the trial-judge’s conclusions that those restrictions lacked historical support.
Lower courts have been in disarray over how to apply the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling, which emphasized the importance of history in judging gun regulations, rather than modern public-safety considerations such as the government’s interest in curbing gun violence over the rights of gun owners It is possible New York’s regulations could return to the Supreme Court again.