Major Court Case Will Likely Determine the Fate of Gun Rights in New York

In the next few months, one of the most important Second Amendment cases since D.C. v. Heller could be heard by the Supreme Court.

All eyes are on N.Y. Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York.  Cody Wisniewski of The Federalist detailed what’s at stake.

New York City has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Current law, for instance, prohibits licensed handgun owners from transporting their handguns outside city limits. (Yes, New York City really does prohibit this.) Handgun owners are considered criminals if they merely bring a handgun to a shooting range in the next town for a round of target practice.

With this case potentially moving to the Supreme Court, NYC political officials are asking the Court to delay the case so that they can amend the law in question.

Although the Supreme Court denied these officials’ request to put the N.Y. Rifle case on hold, that does not necessarily mean that the Supreme Court has to actually decide the case.

Wisniewski notes the following:

If NYC officials successfully amend the challenged regulation, the Supreme Court could decide that there is no longer a current regulation to overturn, and therefore no need to decide the case.

One point The Federalist writer highlights is that “nearly every court in the nation has ignored Heller and McDonald.”

“In Heller, the Supreme Court overturned D.C.’s unconstitutional handgun ban, and in McDonald, the court found Chicago’s nearly identical ban to be equally unconstitutional,” Wisniewski stated.

In both cases, the Supreme Court determined that Second Amendment is a natural right “that exists independent of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” Most importantly, the Supreme Court drew out the method “for lower courts apply in all Second Amendment cases.”

In other words, many local municipalities and lower courts are in clear violation of the Second Amendment and have not fully respected the court’s decision.

This case is particularly important for a state like New York, which is ranked dead last according to Guns & Ammo magazine. Its state government is unresponsive on most gun rights issues, so it will likely take court action to restore certain Second Amendment freedoms in the Empire State.