The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling upholding a New Jersey requirement for gun owners to show an urgent need to carry a handgun outside their home for self-defense. Both a police official and a judge must approve the permits.
The New Jersey law was challenged by four individuals and two gun groups, and had the backing of 19 states.
The justices turned away similar questions on at least two earlier occasions.
The court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller focused mainly on the right to defend one's own home, but left for another day how broadly the Second Amendment may protect gun rights elsewhere.