The Supreme Court declined on Monday to discuss a challenge to a New York state law requiring prospective gun owners to demonstrate they need to defend themselves before getting a concealed-carry license for a handgun.

The New York Times reported that the court's decision effectively backs a ruling by the federal Court of Appeals for New York upholding the law.

New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed a brief to the high court arguing that the New York law, similar to measures in at least seven other states, operated in accordance with the Second Amendment by allowing for private firearm possession while fulfiling state requirements for public safety.

In December 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Illinois law barring gun owners from carrying their weapons in public. State lawmakers were given 180 days to modify the law.

"The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside," the appeals court said in its decision. "The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden."

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