Supreme Court rejects firearms dealers' request to block N.Y. gun laws

Attorneys for gun dealers argued that their clients are "risking everything to try to stay in business" amid new laws for safety requirements.
Posted at 10:01 AM, Jan 19, 2023

Some of the strictest gun laws in the country remain on the books in New York after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from a group of firearms dealers to halt parts of new gun laws regulating the commercial sale of firearms.

Late Wednesday, the Supreme Court — in a one-line unsigned order that offered no public dissents — denied the request to block the laws.  

At issue were safety regulations that required firearms dealers to secure guns in a safe or locked area; required dealers to have security systems installed on their premises; prohibited people under 18 from entering gun retail stores without a parent or guardian; and required gun sellers to provide records of sales to law enforcement agencies and manufacturers upon request. 

The laws were signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul after the state's Democratic-led legislature passed new laws last June. 

Others were adopted in July, after the Supreme Court struck down New York's limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home in a landmark ruling expanding gun rights. The high court's ruling prompted New York lawmakers into action. 

"There is no place in the nation that this decision affects as much as New York City," Mayor Eric Adams said.

New York To Restrict Gun Carrying After Supreme Court Ruling

New York To Restrict Gun Carrying After Supreme Court Ruling

The new law bans guns in areas deemed "sensitive," and requires extensive training for concealed carry applicants.


In their petition to the court, attorneys for the gun dealers wrote that their clients are "risking everything to try to stay in business in support of civil rights under the Second, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and to keep the doors open and the lights on while they pursue this case."

New York Attorney General Letitia James in New York's court filing argued that "this case does not involve any significant Second Amendment issue."

The ruling by the nine justices marks the second time in just over a week that the court held for New York. 

On Jan. 11, the court rejected another bid by members of a gun rights advocacy group to block New York's Concealed Carry Improvement Act.

These rulings could impact measures in other states. And the fight in New York is not over, as other challenges are expected in lower courts. 

While the justices offered no opinion in either of their rulings, the door was left open to revisit the state's law.

In the Jan. 11 ruling, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the New York law "presents novel and  

serious questions" under the United States Constitution's provisions on gun rights and free speech.