New York’s sweeping new gun control law has survived a court challenge that threatened to drastically undermine the state’s ability to limit access to firearms. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that another court’s recent decision to block the law will not take effect, at least for the time being.

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s prior concealed carry statute in June, state lawmakers passed legislation limiting the ability of permit holders to carry their guns in many areas. The laws also require permit applicants to prove that they have “good moral standing,” in order to be eligible. But as legal challenges to the state’s new gun regulations play out in the courts, some legal experts say New Yorkers are getting mixed messages about who can carry a firearm in the state, and where.

“It leaves them in a bind,” said Saul Cornell, a historian at Fordham University who studies the Second Amendment.

“It’s so incredibly confusing, even for people who are really trying their best to pay attention,” said Amy Swearer, a legal scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Whether you’re a gun owner hoping to apply for a concealed carry permit in New York or someone concerned about riding the subway side-by-side with pistol-holders, here are the answers to a few questions you might be asking yourself about the state’s new gun law:

As of today, who can carry a gun in New York? And where?

For now, people with permits can’t carry guns in so-called “sensitive” areas, including playgrounds, schools, places of worship and public transit. Wednesday’s decision from a federal judge in the 2nd Circuit means the state’s new concealed carry law stands — for now. Mayor Eric Adams signed a city law on Tuesday that makes Times Square a “sensitive location,” which means most permit holders are also barred from carrying firearms there. Only a few groups are exempt, including law enforcement and active-duty military.

People who apply for concealed carry permits still need to complete a long list of requirements, including attending gun safety training, handing over a list of their social media accounts, and providing four character references.

What does this mean for people who want to apply for a concealed carry permit?

You can still apply. Just be prepared for the requirements to change as various lawsuits work their way through the courts.

Swearer notes the permitting process varies depending on where you are in the state, since local agencies are responsible for approving permits in their respective jurisdictions. She recommends that people who want to apply for a gun permit regularly check for updates with their local licensing office.

The New York Times recently reported that some local sheriffs don’t plan to enforce the state’s new concealed carry law, which they think could punish legal gun owners. Even so, Swearer says confusion about the application requirements and fears of punishment for violating the law could have a chilling effect.

“They’re going to be afraid to actually go out and exercise their Second Amendment rights, precisely because they don’t know if and how and to what extent it’s actually going to be enforced against them and how that might change based on whether they’re in their city and county or whether they go to their neighboring city and county,” she said.

How long will this take to be resolved in the courts?

It will likely take months, if not longer, for the courts to decide if New York’s gun permit rules can stand. The case that sparked Wednesday’s ruling is just one of at least eight lawsuits challenging the new state law.

Attorney General Letitia James has pledged to defend the concealed carry law in court, which means each case could result in various appeals to higher courts.

Cornell expects legal challenges against the statute could eventually land New York’s gun laws back in front of the Supreme Court, to issue a new ruling with what he hopes would be a clearer explanation of the regulations states can and cannot put in place to restrict access to concealed carry permits. He said the court’s opinion striking down New York’s previous law created more uncertainty, not less.

“They almost seem to be spending more time on super abstract, ideological, culture-war issues related to guns than they are in actually trying to craft a framework that would be useful,” he said.

Will what happens in New York have an effect on gun laws elsewhere in the U.S.?

It could. Lawsuits have been filed in multiple other states and the District of Columbia challenging firearm restrictions there — several since this summer’s Supreme Court ruling. In Rhode Island, a hunting and fishing store filed a lawsuit against the state’s new gun laws the day of the Supreme Court decision. In D.C., several gun owners sued the city and its police chief a week later. Whatever the courts decide regarding New York’s new law could affect gun regulations across the country, Cornell said.

“Where can you carry a gun? How many rounds can you have in your magazine? And are there any guns that are so dangerous that they don’t belong on our streets?” he said. “All of those issues are up for grabs and being litigated.”

What happens next?

For the case at the center of Wednesday’s ruling, the court ordered a three-judge panel to decide whether the law should stay in place while the state appeals the earlier decision to block it. The order didn’t mention a date for when that decision is expected.

Gov. Kathy Hochul celebrated the court’s ruling in a statement released shortly after.

“My top priority will always be to keep New Yorkers safe, and we will continue working with the Office of the Attorney General to defend our gun safety laws,” she said.

An attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case declined to comment.