The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to dismiss a challenge by New York State gun owners of a handgun control law in New York City despite a not-so-veiled threat by Capitol Hill Democrats to “re-structure” the court if it allowed this case to move forward.
When the high court agreed earlier this year to review the case, it sent New York City officials into a panic, scrambling to amend the law in an effort to derail the case.
Under the law before it was changed, New York City residents with permits to have handguns in their homes were prevented from taking those guns outside the city, on vacation, to shooting ranges or training events.
According to the Washington Times, the ordinance, before it was amended, “prevented those with the home-only license from transporting their weapons to second homes or shooting ranges outside the city.
Gun rights groups challenged the ordinance, but lower courts sided with the city.
The gun rights groups have asked the Supreme Court to hear the case, and it is scheduled to be argued Dec. 2.
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, expressed delight at the high court’s willingness to let the case move ahead. SAF has filed an amicus brief in the case, supporting the plaintiffs, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.
Another brief, filed by several Senate Democrats led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), asserted that the high court “is not well,” and it might need to be “‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics. Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”
Gottlieb has not forgotten that brief. He accused Whitehouse and his colleagues of attempting to “bully the high court.” He called their brief “outrageous.”
“How dare Whitehouse and his associates attempt such coercion,” Gottlieb demanded in a news release. “We’re proud of the Supreme Court justices for ignoring this threat to their independence as a separate branch of government.”
He also stated, “It’s outrageous that the city has furiously tried to derail this case by changing the law. That says volumes not only about the city’s fear of having to defend their restrictive gun control law before the court, but it also suggests to us that the city knew all along their law would not pass the constitutional smell test under any level of scrutiny, and they panicked.”
The Washington Times noted in its coverage of the story that “Democrats fear a 5-4 ruling would expand on the last 12 years of pro-gun rulings.”
The court has handed down two significant Second Amendment rulings in the past 11 years including the 2008 Heller decision and the 2010 McDonald ruling. The latter was a SAF case that nullified Chicago’s handgun ban and incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.
According to Scotusblog, the court will address the city’s contention that the case has been mooted when it hears oral arguments in two months.