At LAST! SCOTUS Takes Up First Second Amendment Case In Nearly A Decade

Posted: Jan 22, 2019 12:30 PM

Justice Clarence Thomas had criticized the Supreme Court for not taking up Second Amendment cases. After the landmark Heller decision in 2008, which affirmed “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home” within federal enclaves, it was expanded to the states in the McDonald decision two years later. Since then, case after case was not granted an audience before the high court. 

Whether it be so-called assault weapons bans in deep blue states to concealed carry, the Supreme Court has rejected scores of Second Amendment cases. Two of the most disappointing were Wollard v. Gallagher (2013) and Drake v. Jerejian (2014), which argued that the good reason provisions in Maryland and New Jersey concealed carry laws were unconstitutional. The Jerjerian case also could have decided whether it was an American’s constitutional right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense, which the National Rifle Association noted is one of the last remaining legal questions to be answered. With may issue and shall issue states firmly established, and with a legitimate constitutional question concerning carry rights, there was pressure for SCOTUS to take on these cases. 

Alas, after nearly a decade, the Supreme Court is hearing a gun case, which could expand gun rights for the residents of the People’s Republic of New York City. The Court will review the handgun law that bans the transportation of a permitted, locked, and unloaded firearm outside of the city limits. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled for the city in a previous legal challenge. it's not grounded in carry rights per se, but at least SCOTUS is reviewing an anti-gun law this term  (via WaPo):

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will examine New York City’s ban on carrying a licensed and unloaded handgun outside the city limits, the first Second Amendment challenge it has accepted in nearly a decade.

The decision to hear the case in the term that begins in October may signal that the reinforced conservative majority on the court is ready to consider more laws that restrict gun rights.

New York’s law is not replicated elsewhere: It permits transporting handguns only to firing ranges within the city. Those who challenged the law have a license to keep a handgun at their homes. Petitioners included those who want to take their guns to firing ranges or competitions outside the city, and one who wanted to take the gun to his second home upstate.


The National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups supported the lawsuit, and said it was time for the court to clarify what the right to keep a firearm for personal protection means.


The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York

In 2016, then-Fox Business host John Stossel did a lengthy report on the city’s gun laws concerning obtaining a permit for a handgun. And yes, the process was a brutal one, as expected in deep blue, anti-gun states.

So, we got the foot in the door here, folks. It’s not the case I would have liked concerning Second Amendment rights, but if we get a win here, I’ll take it. Any expansion of gun rights is good in the overall fight, of course.