The Supreme Court of the United States, with two Donald Trump-appointed justices now on board has evidently awakened from a ten-year slumber, agreeing to review a challenge to a handgun transport restriction in New York City.
According to NBC News, “Lower courts upheld the restriction, and the city urged the Supreme Court not to take the cases and instead to let those rulings stand.”
But there’s a new conservative majority on the high court with the additions of Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. And if the court nullifies New York’s restriction, it could signal that the doors are open to other Second Amendment cases.
“This is a great gun rights case,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. “The fact that the Supreme Court decided to hear it is really good news for Second Amendment supporters. I think it now shows that the high court will now start to hear many challenges to anti-gun rights laws.”
SAF brought the last gun rights case to the Supreme Court in 2010. That was McDonald v. City of Chicago, which nullified Chicago’s handgun ban and incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.
The prospect of another Second Amendment case before what many believe is a more rights-friendly court may cause shudders in the gun prohibition movement. It might send a signal to anti-gunners in government to cool their jets, many activists believe.
The ripples could reach all the way to Washington State, where anti-gun state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat who reportedly has his eye on running for governor in 2020, appeared before a legislative committee Monday to support a ban on full-capacity magazines. He has also supported a proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
Under the New York regulation, handgun owners cannot legally transport their city-licensed sidearms outside the city limits, even if the gun is not loaded, according to NPR. The city maintains that there are enough gun ranges in the city (seven, according to published reports) to accommodate the target shooting and practice needs of handgun owners in the Big Apple.
But NBC News quoted the legal brief submitted by the plaintiffs that stated, “The city has presented precisely zero empirical evidence that transporting an unloaded handgun locked up in a container separate from its ammunition (an actively that federal law affirmatively protests) poses any material safety risk.”