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SCOTUS Denies Gun Group’s CCIA Appeal, But Leaves Hope

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Today, the Supreme Court denied Gun Owners of America’s (GOA) request for an emergency stay in the Antonyuk v. Negrelli case regarding New York’s “Concealed Carry Improvement Act.” They did however, leave the Second Amendment rights group a sliver of hope with the wording in their opinion.

Justices Alito and Thomas joined Justice Sotomayor in issuing the opinion, and wrote, “Applicants should not be deterred by today’s order from again seeking relief if the Second Circuit does not, within a reasonable time, provide an explanation for its stay order or expedite consideration of appeal.”

Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued the following statement on their website:    

“While we would have hoped for immediate relief from the Court, this statement from Justice Alito is incredibly reassuring, in that the court is completely prepared to step in and re-assert the Bruen precedent should lower courts fail to properly, and in a timely manner, apply it in judicial cases where Second Amendment rights are being restricted. We look forward to continuing the fight against New York’s draconian law.”  

At issue is New York’s oppressive, new gun legislation in response to the Bruen decision, the so-called “Concealed Carry Improvement Act”. Viewed by many as an act of defiance against the Supreme Court, the law further suppresses firearm ownership regulations and puts extreme burdens on those seeking a concealed carry permit. It also widely restricted where those firearms may be carried, all in oposition to principles set forth in Bruen.

Gun advocate group, Gun Owners of America, immediately sued New York state. The District Court found that GOA was likely to succeed on many of their claims and issued a preliminary injunction on 12 elements of the law, preventing them from going into effect. The State then appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals which then stayed, or stopped, that injunction, allowing the law back into effect. They did so with no explanation, which is unusual. 

Since the laws were now back in effect, rendering harm to the plaintiffs, GOA submitted an Emergency Application to the Supreme Court asking them to vacate or remove the stay of the Appeals Court. The application was made specifically to Justice Sotomayor, who oversees that District Court.

Although the Supreme Court denied that request, it appears they did so more for procedural reasons than anything related to the subject of the case. Justices Sotomayor, Alito and Thomas wrote, “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 of the merits of the case.”

The Second Circuit court of appeals must now explain itself to the Supreme Court, and must do so quickly.

Read the Supreme Court statement here.

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