The Supreme Court rejected an attempt by gun retailers from New York on Wednesday to block a ream of new gun controls in the state, which they maintained hurt their businesses and violated their Second Amendment rights. There weren’t any explanations or dissents in the order from the justices after their decision.
“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,” said the lead attorney for the New York gun retailers, Paloma Capanna, on Wednesday.
“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,” added Capanna. “So, it really was unfortunate to see that we couldn’t get any emergency temporary injunction against those laws.”
Letitia James, New York Attorney General, praised the decision by the Supreme Court Wednesday, saying the “gun safety laws help save lives and keep our state safer.”
Ruling follows a week after the previous ruling
The Wednesday order came one week after the high court rejected a separate bid by activists for gun rights to block the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, which was implemented by the New York Democrat-controlled legislature last year.
Lawmakers from New York passed a bill after the Supreme Court overturned the state’s prior concealed carry law in June of 2022 in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. In an opinion for the Court, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that “the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”
The new legislation outlaws gun carrying in “sensitive areas,” including houses of worship, parks, museums, stadiums, and other public places. It also imposes new safety requirements on retailers and mandates background checks on all ammunition purchases.
Officials in New York have maintained the new gun restrictions, which now face lower court legal challenges and are needed to protect public safety. In rulings since 2008, the Supreme Court has expanded gun rights in three key rulings.
Before the ruling, two of the Supreme Court’s most conservative justices cautioned that New York’s concealed carry restrictions raise “serious” constitutional questions.
In the Wednesday order, the highest court deferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which eliminated a pause on several portions of the law in December after most of the law’s provisions were struck down on November 7 by a federal district court job.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said in a letter theattached to the order that the law “presents novel and serious questions under both the First and Second Amendments.” The pair also made clear that the denial by the court was in no way “expressing any views on the merits” of the challenges mounted by firearms proponents. Instead, it said it was time to “reflect respect for the 2nd Circuit’s procedures in managing its own docket.”