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SCOTUS to Hear First Second Amendment Case in Years

By: Teresa Mull

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is set to hear the first case involving the Second Amendment it’s heard since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and a follow-up case in 2010.

National Review explains what the case is all about:

At issue is what appears to be a draconian, one-of-a-kind New York City law that prohibits any person who possesses a license to own a gun in their home from transporting that gun (even in a locked container, separate from its ammunition) anywhere except for one of the seven shooting ranges within the city.

Under this law, if you want to transport your gun to a shooting competition outside the city, you can’t. If you’re fortunate enough to own a second home, you can’t even take your own weapon to your own home. You can’t take it to any other shooting range. If you leave your house for an extended period, your gun has to stay in your vacant home. If you’re going to another location — where you have the right to possess or even carry the gun — the weapon can’t travel with you.

What’s at Stake?
The Cato Institute reports:

With N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol, the Court can start checking the massive resistance of many states and cities to this important constitutional right. And it can start instructing the lower courts, many of which have treated the right as second-class, how the law works in this area. For law-abiding gun owners and others who wish to exercise their fundamental right to armed self-defense – particularly those who live in places with high crime and woeful policing – this is most welcome news.

Of course, the justices could end up deciding this case on Commerce Clause grounds – interfering with access to another state’s markets – or the Fourteenth Amendment right to travel, to avoid a possibly controversial Second Amendment ruling. But it’s hard to see that there would be more consensus on those grounds. The real fear is that the Court will simply throw out this categorical ban – as in Heller, which involved a complete ban on possession of handguns – without advancing the larger jurisprudential ball. We’ll see if Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has a strong Second Amendment record, can convince Chief Justice John Roberts to use higher caliber legal analysis.

SCOTUS agreed to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York City, this week, and the case is scheduled for October 2019.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.