A federal court in New York recently blocked a state law that barred guns in “sensitive places,” which includes churches. Plaintiffs argued that the law infringes on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The court contended that the plaintiffs “demonstrated that the State permits countless other private actors hosting secular activities to do what a house of worship may not. The houses of worship exclusion is not a neutral law of general applicability.”

Unfortunately, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit swept in to reinstate the law, which includes a “character test,” in which conceal carry applicants must provide a list of their social media accounts. Gun-rights advocates filed an emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided to allow the law to remain in place while matters are still pending.

“The New York law at issue in this application presents novel and serious questions under both the First and the Second Amendments,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote (PDF), with Justice Clarence Thomas joining.

These pro-Second Amendment justices explained that the court’s decision to deny vacating the 2nd Circuit’s stay reflects respect for that court’s “procedures in managing its own docket, rather than expressing any view on the merits of the case” and said that applicants should not be deterred from pursuing the matter again if the 2nd Circuit fails to provide an explanation in reasonable time — an explanation that passes constitutional muster…. (Excerpt from Black Community News)


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