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Supreme Court Reaches Decision on New York Concealed Carry Law

Today the Supreme Court announced that New York’s newest restrictions on concealed carry licenses can be enforced, though challenges with the law continue.

The Supreme Court reached a decision in June that the Second Amendment generally protects the rights of law abiding Americans to carry a handgun outside of the home for self defense. Eight days later, the New York state legislature met in emergency session to pass the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA).

The CCIA lists places where concealed carry would be banned in New York, including bars, stadiums, subways, and Times Square. It also prohibits carrying a concealed weapon on all private property unless the property owner states otherwise. It also states that those who want a concealed carry license have to pass a character test, undergo 18 hours of training, and disclose social media history and family members.

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The law evoked strong reactions, with the Gun Owners of America and Jewish New York residents, among others, challenging it. As a result, judges have ruled against portions of the law in three separate cases, but a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reinstated the law and ordered expedited briefing on the merits of the lower court decisions.

There were no dissents from the Supreme Court respecting the 2nd Circuit’s order, but Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas said the new law “presents novel and serious questions under both the First and Second Amendments.” The Supreme Court said it encourages those challenging the law to return to the high court if the appeals court does not expedite its review.

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