U.S. Supreme Court allows New York to continue to restrict guns in ‘sensitive places’ — for now


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday morning that a New York law prohibiting guns from “sensitive places” like Times Square, Madison Square Garden or neighborhood playgrounds can stand while a lawsuit brought by gun owners continues to be litigated.

Last year, a high court decision made it easier for people to carry firearms in public across the country.

In response, New York lawmakers passed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act, which puts additional restrictions on gun ownership. Upstate gun owners then sued the state, calling the New York gun law an “extreme outlier among the states” and saying it infringes on the Second Amendment. They also criticized the state for passing a law more restrictive than the law that the Supreme Court overturned.

The high court did allow states to place limitations on bringing guns to public buildings, schools and areas where a large number of people congregate. However, after the state passed the restriction, gun owners filed eight different lawsuits seeking to overturn the law. The status of those cases can be found here.

“This court’s intervention is therefore necessary, to again make it clear to New York that it is not free to thumb its nose at the text of the Second Amendment, and the opinions of the Supreme Court, and that the Second Amendment is neither a ‘constitutional orphan’ nor a ‘second-class right,’” the plaintiffs’ attorney wrote in their lawsuit. The lawyer, Stephen Stamboulieh, did not respond to a request for comment.

A Syracuse judge agreed and struck down parts of the law, but was reversed on appeal by the state.

The ruling on Wednesday lets that appeal stand until the case is finished.

On Monday a New Jersey federal judge ruled in a similar lawsuit that restrictions for gun owners in that state would be temporarily set aside.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul praised the Supreme Court’s decision to let the law stand.

“I’m pleased that this Supreme Court order will allow us to continue enforcing the gun laws we put in place to do just that,” Hochul said. “We believe that these thoughtful, sensible regulations will help to prevent gun violence, and we will keep working with the New York attorney general’s office on protecting the laws.”


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