Monday, April 15, 2013


US Supreme Court declines to challenge New York gun law

The United States Supreme Court will avoid weighing in for now on a controversial gun law in New York state.
The country’s top justices said Monday that they won’t hear the case of Kachalsky v. Cacace, a lawsuit that challenged an Empire State firearm law that critics say makes it difficult to legally carry a concealed handgun in public.
Justices decline N.Y. case restricting guns in public
The Supreme Court declines to consider whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.
The decision lets stand a federal appeals court decision that upheld New York's restrictions on carrying guns in public – a law similar to that in nine other states, including California.
Instead, the high court is more likely to await an appeal from Illinois to a federal appeals court ruling that struck down its more restrictive law – one that bans nearly all guns outside the home.
In the New York case, the state attorney general's office had argued in its brief to the Supreme Court that the lower-court decision should stand. The state has a "compelling interest in public safety and crime prevention" that makes gun regulation necessary, it said.
Those challenging the New York law argued that as a result, the right to bear arms is "illusory." Their brief to the Supreme Court contended that such a restriction hasn't been placed on the freedom of speech, worship — or even abortion.
Despite declining the New York case, the Supreme Court is virtually certain to weigh in on the issue soon. That's because lower federal courts have issued split decisions on state laws designed to restrict the prevalence of handguns on the streets.
"It's only a matter of time before the court decides whether people have a right to carry guns in public," says Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. "This is the biggest unanswered question about the Second Amendment."
The requests for high-court review come as federal and state lawmakers are considering new gun laws in the wake of December's killing of 26 students and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The murders by a lone gunman have boosted public support for gun controls.
While 17 states have passed new laws since the Newtown shootings and Congress is considering national legislation, most of the court action is in the other direction — challenges by firearms groups to state restrictions.
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Nothing can come from nothing.


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