Supreme Court to hear a challenge to New York City gun law

Supreme Court to hear a challenge to New York City gun law
Supreme Court to hear a challenge to New York City gun law

Fayetteville, AR – -(AmmoLand.com)- For the first time since 2010, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about the constitutionality of a gun law, specifically New York City’s restrictions on where a person with a license for a firearm in one’s residence can take that gun outside. Under current rules, such owners may only go to shooting ranges within the city limits. Transportation to a range elsewhere or even to property in other parts of the state is illegal. According to a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit, this law complies with the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Heller decision.

The city argues that it’s too hard to determine whether someone with an unloaded firearm locked in one case and ammunition in a separate container is going to a local range or somewhere else. In my state of residence, this would never be a question, since we understand that transporting one’s personal property in a manner that is not overtly a threat to others is no one else’s business.

The idea of letting go is a horror to those who yearn for control.

Since Heller only addressed the specific question of ownership, jurisdictions like New York City feel free to make exercising the right to bear arms as difficult as possible for people who care about following the law. The standard claim of gun control advocates, though—the assertion that the measures they demand are for safety—falls apart here. This isn’t even a debate over concealed carry. The transportation of unloaded and locked firearms is just movement. If someone is going to travel to a location to commit a crime with a firearm, that person isn’t going to worry about restrictions, and there are many possible purposes for putting a gun in the trunk that have nothing to do with any intention to do wrong. And if the gun is being transported in a legal manner—again, unloaded and locked up with the ammunition in a separate container—it creates little opportunity for the sudden acts of irrationality in the midst of an argument that supporters of such laws imagine. “Please wait while I get my gun out of its case and load a magazine so I can then shoot you” would have made a good Monty Python sketch, but it doesn’t work so well in the real world.

And then there’s the consideration that operating a firearm is a skill that has to be practiced in context. Indoor ranges such as what are available within large cities provide an opportunity to try out several types of guns, if the range rents them, and lets a user develop the abilities to hold the gun correctly and to aim through the firing process. For people whose interest is solely in putting rounds into the ten ring—competition shooting, in other words—such ranges are exactly what is needed. But a gun can also be a weapon for stopping a violent attack, and working up the talent to use it in that way takes a space with more room to maneuver. But one of the real purposes of gun control is to make sure that the law-abiding never use firearms to protect themselves.

With the changes to the Supreme Court of late, we may get a good ruling out of this case. Heller and McDonald did the same, though they didn’t go far enough. What we can guardedly expect here is a recognition that the Second Amendment isn’t only for the home—in other words, “bear” is in the text, and we may finally see that part to be treated seriously.


About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

  • 36 thoughts on “Supreme Court to hear a challenge to New York City gun law

    1. Did anyone else see the article about the FBI turning down 7.8 million gun purchase requests by ILLEGAL ALIENS in 2018 ? There seems to be a giant jump in the number of UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS who want to arm up, all of a sudden. That article came out at about the same time as the one exposing that they cost the taxpayer over $150 BILLION PER YEAR. Now isn’t that a kick in the pants ?

      1. The article is here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/fbi-record-number-of-illegal-immigrants-tried-to-buy-guns. The article notes:

        “CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the numbers were of attempted purchases. The report is of “active records” of those barred. Washington Secrets regrets the error.”

        What does that mean? It means that 7,836,600 known Illegal aliens are in NICS. If they try to purchase a firearm, they will be denied. It doesn’t mean 7,836,600 known Illegal aliens tried to buy a firearm.

        1. @Charlie…
          Yes, I saw that article. There does seem to be some dispute over these figures. The biggest question is how did they get their name in NICS to begin with ? We are going to have to keep our ears down to the ground on this one, and try to track the black market. Any reports of bulk gun seizures should be reported here, as that will give us an idea as to what is happening in the black market. Others are filing FOIA REQUESTS to get info on what the figures on the NICS were for prior years. This may just be the beginning of this story. Time will tell.

          1. You still seem to misunderstand what this NICS report is really about. USCIS has records about every Illegal alien that has been identified, such as when arrested. USCIS sends that data to the FBI for the NICS system, as required by law. That’s how those names show up in NICS system as active records, i.e., people who should be denied a firearms purchase.

            I am not sure why there needs to be a FOIA request for information that has already made publicly available through a FOIA request. The 2017 number was 7.3M, see https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4376132-Active-Records-in-the-NICS-Indices-5-Dec-2017.html

            There is no news here, except for some right-wing rag that wants to create a fake story about 7+ million illegal aliens trying to buy guns. There will always be people, who have no clue and just believe this.

            As for “keep our ears down to the ground” and “track the black market”, LOL, LOL, LOL. Good luck with that! That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. Do you track the firearms seizures by the FBI in MS-13 cases? How do you have access to that information?

      2. And about the same time that the Pentagon and HUD failed their audit. Seems as though there is $21 TRILLION of unaccounted for expenditures, and HUD and Pentagon have some sort of incestuous relationship whereby expenditures from one agency are put onto the ledgers of the other. If you will recall, the day before 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld was on national TV, telling the American people that there was $2.3 TRILLION that could not be accounted for. The Pentagon auditors, many of them civilians, were working on the problem, all grouped together with all the records in the newly renovated section of the Pentagon that was hit by the missle the very next day. Hundreds were killed, and most of the records were destroyed. Over the years since 2001, that $2.3 TRILLION has now grown to greater than $21 TRILLION. And our NATIONAL DEBT has grown from less than $10 TRILLION to over $21 TRILLION, mostly due to the $7 TRILLION spent on the phoney “War on Terror”. And we know who coined that phrase, and who has been benefitting the most from that “war”, and they are the same.

    2. After the narrow 5-4 ruling in the Heller case, I don’t believe some of these judges care how to properly interpret “Shall not be infringed” as stated the 2nd Amendment. These NY gun laws (All gun laws) only pertain to law abiding citizens that must ask permission to exercise their 2A right.

    3. Constitution. Constitution. Constitution! It still stands. The wording has not changed. There have been NO Ammendments made. Individual states still have the right to make STATE laws. I don’t believe that, under pressure and judicial scrutiny the States laws will prevail. I could be wrong. I’ll bet one thing…..there are a lot of constituents not in compliance!
      Screw NY and NYC!
      States like this are telling us where to go first when the Civil War starts. Easy to wipe out when they’ve disarmed themselves!

    4. Personally, and I hope I am wrong, but I think they’ll side against the people again, and put another straw on the back of the camel named Revolution.

      1. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)4 organization and the official NRA-affiliated State Association in New York. This case was not brought by the NRA, but by another organization that is affiliated with the NRA. The NRA is simply not a plaintiff in this case.

        I am sure the NRA will fund raise on this, while the only thing they do will be writing an amicus brief. So far, the NRA hasn’t even filed an amicus brief. You know who did? The GOA! See https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/new-york-state-rifle-pistol-association-inc-v-city-of-new-york-new-york/

        Heller and McDonald were both not brought by the NRA either, by the way. The NRA refused to take Heller and had their own case on the coat tails of McDonald (NRA v. Chicago). The NRA is very good in taking credit, though.

      2. This may well be a very important case for all gun owners but don’t think the NYSR&PA/NRA is alone in this suit. Amicus curiae briefs have been filed by:
        Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, The Heller Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, Restoring Liberty Action Committee.

        The states of LA, AL, AZ, AR, GA, ID, KA, KY, MI, MS, MT, OK, SC, TX, UT, WV, WI.

        Western States Sheriffs Association, International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, Law Enforcement Action Network, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers.

      3. This may well be a very important case for all gun owners but don’t think the NYSR&PA (NRA) is alone in this suit. Amicus curiae briefs have been filed by:

        Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, The Heller Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Downsize DC Foundation, DownsizeDC.org, Restoring Liberty Action Committee.

        The states of LA, AL, AZ, AR, GA, ID, KA, KY, MI, MS, MT, OK, SC, TX, UT, WV, WI.

        Western States Sheriffs Association, International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, Law Enforcement Action Network, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers.

    5. I usually don’t give a flying fig what happens in or to NYC, but as this might adversely affect the entire country I’m interested to see how this turns out. If it’ll effect me in any way I doubt it. If it turns out to be good for gun owners, nothing I do will change. If it turns out bad, I won’t comply with it.

    6. New York State is chuck full of Cops, Crooks & Corrupt Politicians (TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL) who ALWAYS say , IT’S FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY. LETS RID OURSELVES OF THEM AND THE UNSAFE ACT. Let the citizens of N.Y. defend themselves. REMEMBER , The police are under NO obligation to protect you only CLEAN UP THE MESS.

        1. Ha ! Perfect humor. Perfect. Her name will live in Infamy, along with Schumer, Feinstein, Soros, Whiningberg, Lautenberg, and a bunch of others.

    7. The lower courts are openly mocking and ignoring the Constitution. They are refusing to listen to guidance from the Supreme Court. Retired Justice Stevens Admitted that he tried to sway the decisions of the Supreme Court and actively worked towards eliminating the 2nd Amendment! UNBELIEVABLE!! He admitted this in an interview, he stated that this is in his upcoming book! When was trying to SUBVERT the Constitution, the very same Constitution that he has sworn to uphold and protect. Surely this is against the law, or he should lose his Retirement money, or spend the rest of his sorry ass life in a prison. The justices still sitting should be removed. This Great Republic in which we live is being torn down, brick by brick, from within, by subversive elements that have wormed their way into positions of control. The Supreme Court has the final say over the very fabric of our Freedom! And again, they admit publicly that their goal is to steal control of the government from the People. They want a King, an Emperor to sit on a thrown again. I say STOP, America, Open your Eyes and Ears! They don’t even pretend to hide it anymore! The Left Wing King makers can only succeed if they disarm us first. The Founding Fathers knew this would eventually happen and gave us the 2nd Amendment , by which we would be able to defend the Republic! Sic Semper Tyrannis ! RH

    8. The fact that this case must be argued before the US Supreme Court shows the implacableness of some of the lower court justices and anti- gunners, in general. The issue of gun rights in America bares witness to a divide between those who believe its ones natural right to use deadly force, when necessary, as a last resort, in defense of life and those don’t want to hear any reasoning arguments for it. Fear and the underlying need to control the “masses” is what’s behind most gun control.

      1. I was walking through the halls of Congress the other day, and all the gun grabbers who we love to hate were there, and they were all patting themselves on the back and saying stuff like, “Boy, that reverse psychology really works. Since we started this campaign, the American people have all gone out and bought millions of guns and billions of rounds of ammo. Isn’t it great ! We now have the safest and most polite nation in the world”. AND THEN I WOKE UP !

    9. I’m not holding my breath on this, I’m almost sure that I will be a deep shade of Purple if they rule in favor of the people of NY, and because these cities have picked apart the Heller and McDonald ruling thus doing a real dismantling on that ruling!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. @ m Along with determining cases for review, lifetime appointments are right up there also. The ones in the ivory tower get to decide our fate when they feel like it.

      2. Initially, the original colonies were promised (in order to get the Constitution ratified in the first place) that the Supreme Court would NOT ever hear cases involving state law… they would only hear cases involving federal law. Times have indeed changed…

    10. Time for the SCOTUS to recognize the rights of citizens that are guaranteed by the Constitution. Hopefully with the two new members that President Trump appointed along with Judge Thomas we can now have some common sense decisions return.

      1. @H. S. Roberts has been iffy. All of them feel that they are above peasant class. We need one less libtard justice and a Constitution respecting replacement, before this case comes to hearing. Just that the justices fail to adhere to the preemptive nature of the Second Amendment is a loss.

    11. I don’t have much confidence that they the court will do the right thing. The Constitution is easy to understand and should be easily interpreted. Our rights are not open for debate.

    12. It is ESSENTIAL to get a case before the right Supreme Court to make it clear that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, target shooting, or even home defense. The 2nd Amendment is about being able to repel an invasion or, more on the mind of the framers, drive out a tyrannical government if one should arise. To do that, people need to be able to be armed any time anywhere, and frankly the 2nd Amendment justifies AR-15s with 30 round magazines more than it does double barrel shotguns and revolvers.

      Let’s not make the error of leading the court to supporting our right to home defense and self defense, when the 2nd Amendment is about the much bigger issue of national liberty defense.

      1. @TS I know what you write is what the framers intended but it has ballooned beyond that point. Remember, Stallwell said “but we have nukes”, in speaking about uprisings.

        1. @Tomcat, Yes, it is amazing that an American politician would be willing to kill a large group of Americans , with nuclear weapons, just to get a few rebels. Maybe a rebel will put something in his fancy soup, at his fancy Washington, DC restaurant, someday.

          1. @ Wild Bill That would be a much better place for a crazy to carry out his aggressions than going to a school. Plus think of the air space that would be saved and we wouldn’t have to pay his retirement. Sounds like a win, win to me.

      2. Never argue over the amount…

        This is a clear case in what I would call “arguing over the amount” when in fact there is absolutely nothing that is negotiable concerning the “Right of the people to keep and bear arms” that is espoused in the Second Amendment. And so because of this error and this misjudgment on our part, we have for a long time allowed ourselves to be tricked into accepting a continually “watered down version” of our God given Right to keep and bear arms. Please understand that the regulation of firearms in America is generally based on two misinterpreted and misused sections of the Constitution which are referred to as “The Supremacy Clause” and “The Commerce Clause”. The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land and every state that joins this union of states adopts a state constitution that is and must be based on the US Federal Constitution. But while the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the laws of the United States do NOT automatically share that same status as so many have led us to believe… No, No No. The Supremacy Clause at Article VI, Sec 2 of the Constitution is a conditional statement that imposes the condition that US laws must be “made in pursuance thereof” with respect to the Constitution. And so unconstitutional laws are NOT automatically part of the supreme law of the land and are in fact deemed invalid from the moment that they are written. See Supreme Court cases such as Marbury v Madison and Norton v Shelby County as well as a number of other cases in which the SCOTUS ruled this to be the case that the Congress does NOT have the power to pass laws that override the Constitution. For the sake of brevity I will not go into the misapplication of the so called Commerce Clause here, however, let me add one more very important point to this legal argument in opposition to anti-gun laws. The Constitution is a compact (a contract or agreement document) and in contract law it is well recognized and accepted that once a contract document has been amended that the changes, alterations and/or provisions in the amendment permanently alters and changes the original document as the terms and the provisions of the amendment always “supersede” those of the original document. Hence, the amendment carries far more weight then the original document and “over rides” any and all conflicting terms or ambiguities between the amendment and the original document. Furthermore, the Second Amendment was written using clear, precise language and with the “commandment” words that state, “the Right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed”. And so absent a subsequent amendment that specifically addresses the provisions of the Second Amendment, “the Right of the people to keep and bear arms Shall Not be infringed” remains and continues to be the “Supreme Law of the Land”. As a case in point (one of many), consider that when the 18th Amendment was passed the manufacture, distribution, transportation and the consumption of alcoholic beverages was banned making Prohibition a part of the supreme law of the land. And so when it was later realized that Prohibition had been a big mistake, Prohibition could NOT be challenged or altered via any act of Congress or Presidential Executive Order… No Sir! Ending the era of Prohibition would require the passing of another constitutional amendment and so it was not until the passage of the 21st Amendment that nullified the 18th Amendment that the era of Prohibition finally came to an end and all Americans could once again go back to enjoying a “legal drink”.

        There is a Rule of Law in this country and the US Constitution spells out very specifically how the government is to carry out that Rule of Law. However, our politicians and our government creatures continue to over step and abuse their authority… and this is because we have allowed them to do it. We continue to “argue over the amount” when in fact we are not lawfully liable for even one red cent nor do we have to surrender any part of nor to even engage in any sort of negotiations when it comes to our Right to keep and bear arms.

        “If you don’t know your Rights then you simply don’t have any”. And also…“If you do not raise an objection then you do not have one”. Because a Right that is not asserted and invoked is a Right that in practice unfortunately does not exist. We must all learn how to assert and defend our Rights using the tools that are there for us such as with the filing of a complaint in federal court using 18 U.S. § 242 – Criminal Violation of Rights and also under 18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights… as well as also a civil suit using 42 U.S. § 1983 – Deprivation of rights under color of law wherein “they” can be made financially liable to you.

        Never forget that…

        “Every single treaty the Indians made with the U.S. Government was broken by Washington; The U.S. Constitution is the treaty that the American people have with the Federal Government, and it too is now also being broken”. –Russell Means, Indian activist.

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