A federal judge has upheld a New York law that requires an applicant to show “a special need for self-protection” before winning a license to carry a handgun.

District Judge Cathy Seibel ruled in White Plains that the state “has an important government interest in promoting public safety and preventing crime” and that the Supreme Court left room for that interest in recent rulings expanding gun rights.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the ruling a victory for the state, the U.S. Constitution “and families across New York who are rightfully concerned about the scourge of gun violence.”

But a higher court is likely to have the final say. The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Alan Gura, said he has already taken the case to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and an eventual Supreme Court decision is possible.

“The question here is whether the government gets to regulate a constitutional right or completely abolish it,” Gura said.

The plaintiffs were five Westchester County residents who had been denied licenses, known as full-carry permits, and the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation.

They sued the county and the county judges who had turned down the applications. They argued that under recent Supreme Court decisions involving gun control measures in Chicago and Washington, D.C., New York’s restriction was unconstitutional.

Source: Jim Fitzgerald for the Associated Press via

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