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Firearm dealers ask Supreme Court to defang New York’s new regulations

The Empire State took another stab at gun restrictions and will likely face another round before the same conservative supermajority who handed down its last defeat. 

WASHINGTON (CN) — Joining the gun owners that brought a challenge a week and a half earlier, a group of business owners asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to rule that New York's latest crackdown on guns is unconstitutional. 

Both a federal judge and the Second Circuit previously denied emergency relief to the firearm dealers. The owners seek a reversal now, as well as an administrative stay that would block parts of New York's law. 

“The Second Amendment is the new civil right kid on the block,” Paloma Capanna, an attorney representing the firearm dealers, wrote in their application. “The Second Amendment is the modern civil rights movement. An attack on any one civil right and through such unacceptable methods must be called out, if all are to endure — no matter one’s own ‘political preferences’ or ‘whether society finds the idea itself offensive of disagreeable.’” 

New York’s new gun law — known as the Concealed Carry Improvement Act or the CCIA — created new requirements for people seeking a license to carry concealed weapons. The law also bans firearms in sensitive locations in the state. Other gun regulations in New York include the requirement of background checks for private gun sales and a ban on sales of assault weapons. Lawmakers adopted the restrictions about a week after the Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling last term.

The firearm deals say they are suffering monetary losses from the new regulations because they are not able to sell handguns and related accessories to owners. 

“Petitioners as business owners sell semiautomatic rifles, but they have been unable to do so since September 1, 2022 — statewide — because the new SAR license is not available,” Capanna wrote. “SARs are trapped in inventory. Ammunition sales are down. Sales across the board are down. Again, this is a motion for preliminary injunction; not summary judgment or to reverse a decision after trial.” 

A group of gun owners has already asked the court to block portions of the CCIA. The firearms dealers now ask Justice Sonia Sotomayor to block laws targeting firearm and ammunition sellers. They are additionally challenging regulations on concealed-carry permit training, new semiautomatic rifle licenses, and new ammunition background checks. 

“Petitioners 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, but we can’t seem to find a judge in district or circuit court who will back them up,” Capanna wrote. “Petitioners are thus before you now.” 

While the firearm dealers claim they are unable to comply with most of the new laws, they are also refusing to comply with others, arguing they violate their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. 

“Petitioners assert most of the new laws should be struck due to ‘constitutional regulatory overburden,’ a novel theory that government mandates that target only dealers in firearms are unconstitutional when designed to be and are implemented in a manner incapable of compliance or when otherwise pre-empted by federal firearms law or the Second Amendment, in order to strip them of their operating licenses and place them under criminal charges,” Capanna wrote. 

The firearm dealers take aim at New York Governor Kathy Hochul, claiming she attacked the high court and asserted “legal superiority as state governor over the authority of this federal Court, and vowing revenge for this Court’s decisions of June 23, 2022 in NYSRPA v. Bruen.”

“Hochul ordered by ‘Proclamation’ the legislature return for extraordinary session, and pushed them, literally into the dark of night, to pass NY S.51001, so that she could, in the light of the next day, perform for the media,” Capanna wrote. 

Shortly after the application was filed, the Supreme Court requested a response from the state due next week. 

Categories:Appeals, Civil Rights, Government, Law

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