Supreme Court Gives New Hope to Second Amendment
Article from Reason by Brian Doherty.
The Supreme Court has agreed for the first time since 2010 to take up a case related to the Second Amendment. That case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, which was discussed in an April 2014 Reasonfeature “Five Gun Rights Cases to Watch.” The case has been crawling through the courts ever since.
The lawsuit challenges New York City laws that restrict—unreasonably so, to the plaintiffs—the right of licensed New York handgun owners to carry their guns outside city limits. As I wrote back in 2014, the city’s law “demonstrates the picayune restrictions on a core constitutional right that localities still indulge in after Heller—even when the laws in question will reduce the safety of citizen gun ownership, in this case by making gun training and practice more difficult.”
The law being challenged before the Supreme Court this term, as I wrote, “prohibits licensed handgun owners from taking guns almost anywhere outside of city limits. You cannot take your gun to your second home outside the city; you cannot take your gun to shooting practice outside the city; you can only travel with your gun within the state upon receiving a separate hunting permit. In the city, you can only take it to the shooting range…”
Preventing a permit-holding citizen from practicing and competing in shooting proficiency, the suit argues, furthers no substantial government interest. In addition to an unreasonable restriction on the Second Amendment, the cert petition gives the Court an opportunity to shoot down the law without considering the Second Amendment at all (though one hopes the Court will not continue to avoid thinking further about the neglected Amendment): “By restricting the use of lawfully purchased handguns to in-city shooting ranges, the ban violates the Commerce Clause, for the law clearly ‘deprive[s] citizens of their right to have access to the markets of other States on equal terms.’ Granholm v. Heald…(2005). And the ban violates the fundamental right to travel by conditioning such travel on the forfeiture of a separate, but equally important, constitutional right.”
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: Joe Ravi [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons