Supreme Court again declines to pause New York gun regs
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a group of firearms dealers’ emergency request to block various gun control measures recently passed in New York that they argued were unconstitutional and hurt their businesses.
The brief order, which had no noted dissents, marks the justices’ second denial this month of a request to block portions of New York’s new gun regulations, which have faced numerous legal challenges under the high court’s expansion of Second Amendment protections in June.
Last year’s decision, which struck down New York’s requirement for concealed carry permit applicants to show proper cause, enshrined a right for individuals to carry handguns outside the home and held that gun control measures must be consistent with the nation’s historical tradition.
The group of firearms dealers cited the opinion in seeking to block new gun regulations passed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and state Democratic lawmakers in the days just prior to and after the landmark ruling, which also followed a high-profile mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket.
The firearms dealers asked the justices to reverse lower courts’ refusal to temporarily pause enforcement of new licensing requirements and record-keeping rules, among other provisions, arguing they were either unconstitutional or conflicted with federal law.
An Obama-appointed federal judge early last month denied the firearms dealers’ request to immediately pause enforcement of the regulations as the case proceeded, and a panel of three judges on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals similarly denied the group’s request.
Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling follows the justices’ order earlier this month declining a separate request to pause other portions of the new regulations that prohibited concealed carry in certain areas and required permit applicants to demonstrate “good moral character.”
No justices publicly dissented from that decision, but Justice Samuel Alito signaled in a statement joined by Justice Clarence Thomas that those challengers should not be deterred.
“I understand the Court’s denial today to reflect respect for the Second Circuit’s procedures in managing its own docket, rather than expressing any view on the merits of the case,” Alito wrote.