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SCOTUS: It Looks Like There Isn’t a Majority to Offer a Favorable Ruling in NYC’s Gun Law Case

AP Photo/Michael Hill

The Supreme Court appears unwilling to keep a case involving a horrific anti-gun law in New York City going, partially because the city repealed the law prior to oral arguments. It’s significant since this is the first Second Amendment case the Supreme Court has taken in nearly a decade. Gun rights supporters were looking for a win, but things might have taken a turn for the worse (via NBC News):


The Supreme Court seemed unlikely Monday to be heading for a major ruling on Second Amendment rights after hearing courtroom arguments in a dispute over a New York City gun restriction — a law no longer on the books.

Because New York repealed the law after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, the city argued that the case should be dismissed as moot because there's nothing left to fight over. Based on the comments by the justices Monday, it did not seem that a majority was willing to keep the case alive and rule on the broader gun rights issue.


Advocates of gun control, by contrast, feared that court's new conservative majority might produce a decision that the National Rifle Association could use to roll back many of the 300 local gun restrictions enacted since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

They were especially concerned that Brett Kavanaugh, who succeeded Anthony Kennedy, might make the court more willing to revisit the Second Amendment issue. But Kavanaugh said nothing during Monday's argument.

The New York ordinance that gave rise to the case said residents with the proper permit could take a handgun outside the home to a city shooting range, provided it was unloaded in a locked container. But the gun could not be taken beyond the city limits.


The decision will be issued in June, but there could be a surprise. SCOTUS predictions are notoriously inaccurate. The Obamacare case is a prime example. Just because Kavanaugh said nothing isn’t really indicative that this case is dead in the water, though it’s not a good sign either. The point is that New York City had a horrible and unconstitutional gun law, pro-gun rights supporters filed a lawsuit, and the city repealed it because they knew the outcome. They knew it was wrong. They got caught. It just comes to show you how anti-gun liberals and Democrats, in general, will push things into unconstitutional waters if they can get away with it. But the Court doesn’t argue within those parameters. 

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