Breaking: SCOTUS to Decide 2A Case for the First Time in Almost a Decade

Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear a case that will affect the rights of gun owners nationwide.

The case, entitled New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. Inc., et al. v. The City of New York, et al., Case No. 18-280, involves the current New York City law that prohibits the transportation of handguns anywhere other than to and from shooting ranges.  Three handgun owners and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association have challenged the law on the basis that it unconstitutionally interferes with their right to gun ownership and their right to travel.

The challenge was originally brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The District Court dismissed the gun owners’ claims.  The challengers appealed to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the District Court’s dismissal.  Now the nation’s highest court will have the final word.

“New York City prohibits its residents from possessing a handgun without a license, and the only license the City makes available to most residents allows its holder to possess her handgun only in her home or en route to one of seven shooting ranges within the city,” the gun owners wrote in their briefing to the Supreme Court.

“The City thus bans its residents from transporting a handgun to any place outside city limits — even if the handgun is unloaded and locked in a container separate from its ammunition, and even if the owner seeks to transport it only to a second home for the core constitutionally protected purpose of self-defense,” they continued.

The U.S. Supreme Court has previously issued landmark rulings that define the rights of gun owners under the Second Amendment.  In 2008, the Court decided District of Columbia vs. Heller.  In that Heller case, the Court (in ruling that the District of Columbia’s total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, was unconstitutional) held that the Second Amendment “confer[s] an individual right to keep and bear arms” upon the citizens of the United States.

Two years later, in McDonald vs. City of Chicago, the Court (in striking down ordinances in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois, which prohibited residents from possessing handguns in their homes for self-defense) held that the individual right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, applicable against state and local governments, and entitled to the same robust protections as other fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

It has been nearly 10 years since the nation’s highest court has heard a Second Amendment case, and this marks the first gun rights case to be heard since Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in to serve on the Court last fall.

Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal, it will be scheduled for a hearing on a future date.  No hearing date had been set at the time of the publication of this article.

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About the author: John Thomas is a U.S. Navy veteran, and a former prosecutor and defense attorney with over 20 years of experience in state and federal courts. He has handled everything from traffic tickets to first-degree murder cases and is a long-time supporter of Second Amendment rights and the rights of individuals to defend themselves, their families and their property.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Lesb February 5, 2019, 2:44 pm

    Cavanaught
    (Misspelling Intentional)
    Will probably vote with Liberals since he obviously believes that
    Law Only Applies to Others,
    NOT to ITself !
    I hope & pray that I’m wrong
    But I don’t think so !

  • Andrew January 30, 2019, 12:35 pm

    How about a ruling defining once and for all that we have the right to “bear arms” ie; carry. So no need for national reciprocity. We can carry from state to state PERIOD. That I can’t carry across my state’s border (I’m in Connecticut) is on it’s face, unconstitutional. the 2A is a UNITED STATES amendment to our constitution. Last I checked, NY, MA and RI are part of the United States. So why do my rights end at my border???

  • E.P. January 30, 2019, 10:06 am

    If you are only allowed to transport a handgun “to and from a shooting range”, are you committing a crime if you transport your newly purchased handgun from the gun store to your home? Sounds like a clever way to put gun stores out of business … just wait by the register and arrest everybody who purchases a handgun as soon as they exit the store. Gotcha!

  • Padre January 29, 2019, 9:12 am

    In Russia, after a few cases where terrorists robbed churches and killed the priest and/warden, the Gov’t now permits clergy to carry concealed weapons. The Russian Patriarch blessed his clergy to do so. Russian special forces experts trained the priests and provided them with free handguns and ammo. Subsequently, after a good number of would-be thieves were made holey (had holes put into them) and were relocated to local cemeteries, word got out, and terrorists are now looking for other ways to finance their activities. Clearly Russia is moving in the right direction. But here things seem to be moving in the opposite direction: crime is higher than ever, and the Gov’t seems hell-bent on fighting crime by disarming it’s own citizens! So how does that work?

  • Michael M January 28, 2019, 12:22 am

    This should be a 2A slam dunk. Even before that douche Kavanaugh was seated. I’m surprised it had to go this far.

  • Nick M January 27, 2019, 11:33 am

    Carry an unloaded auto loading pistol is stupid. Somebody I was talking to somebody and he said “that is dangerous”. I said, it is supposed to be dangerous.

  • Mark Harry January 27, 2019, 10:07 am

    Just another attempt to whittle away at the second amendment

  • WAMBO January 26, 2019, 3:44 pm

    We already have the same law in New Jersey. I hope that this ruling allows us to drive, at least, to a gas station before we run out of gas. Gotta fill up before leaving for range in NJ, because if you stop for gas, a coffee, or to use a bathroom in an emergency, you can go to jail. If SCOTUS rules in favor of the NY men, NJ and other states will need to comply. For example, a case was ruled that it was unconstitutional to prohibit possession [or some similar verbiage] of a stun gun, and NJ decided it ‘would not prosecute’ owners based on this SCOTUS ruling.

    https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/2309051/Stun%20Gun%20AG%20Update%20(002).pdf?t=1513728793396

    https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2017/10/20/stun-gun-nj-taser/781019001/

  • DB Cooper January 25, 2019, 5:41 pm

    I see this like another constitutional right.. the right to worship or the right to assemble. Can the people only go to seven protest areas where they need to be vetted and licensed to protest?? Same with only seven mosques or churches. HMM… doesn’t pass the sniff test..

  • Raymond Carrino January 25, 2019, 12:19 pm

    America
    Please take note that to outlaw my rights to keep and bear arms will make me an outlaw!
    You will get my guns from my cold dead fingers!
    Japan after Pearl Harbor did not Invade the United States but for one reason the armed citizens.

  • Ejharb January 25, 2019, 12:15 pm

    Past time we infringed on the infringements

  • William Hal Walter January 25, 2019, 11:49 am

    The authors of the 2nd Amendment used very simple language to define the limits and extent of gun ownership and use. Those who try and read into it more than it defines are traitors to our constitution.

    • Rattlerjake January 25, 2019, 1:25 pm

      Your first sentence makes NO sense. The 2nd amendment does NOT define any limits or extent of gun ownership and use! But you are right in that “those who try and read into it more than it defines are traitors to our Constitution” – that would be ALL leftists!

    • Firegoat January 25, 2019, 4:29 pm

      VERY TRUE AND WELL SPOKEN!
      I wished that everyone had this view of the truth.
      I’m tired of constantly defending against these traders. The people we elected should be doing that.
      Not jellyfishing.
      I don’t understand how one could misconstrue a simple statement like “ shall not be infringed “.
      I’m with you!

  • perlcat January 25, 2019, 11:05 am

    That was a stupidly written law. If you read it literally, you can own a gun in your house or take it *to* a range — but not shoot it.

  • DocLoch January 25, 2019, 10:38 am

    First, the verbiage in this article IS correct. The court will “hear” the case. It is usually said that the court will “rule” on a case. This is not right. The SCOTUS may give an opinion on a law, but they may not RULE! Of course that really means nothing in our corrupt government society, so disregard all of the above, and just know this one thing: YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS EXCEPT THOSE YOU ARE WILLING TO FIGHT, KILL AND DIE FOR!

    You can quote me on that!

    • OldRogue January 25, 2019, 3:29 pm

      “The SCOTUS may give an opinion on a law, but they may not RULE!”

      What nonsense!
      Of course, the court rules on the law (in the context of the Constitution) – that is its job.

    • Rouge1 January 25, 2019, 3:33 pm

      You just need government permission to exercise your rights. If these obstacles that the government make me navigate to exercise my 2a rights are not infringment s then they should be easy to incorporate into our voter laws as well. Permitts waiting periods background checks sign an affidavit and so on.

  • AkFolder January 25, 2019, 10:26 am

    Remember way back, at the end of 2018, When President Obama issued an executive order banning BumpStocks? Well, we have only 60 days to comply, or hope SCOTUS will find the actions of Obama UnConstitutional!!

    Oh, wait, I guess Obama ain’t the Pres any more, and Trump did this?? Oops, he must be right, never mind, let me go back to posting memes and schelacking praise onto the NRA Golden (Orange??) Boy!!!

    • Rouge1 January 25, 2019, 3:40 pm

      Yea what happened to expo facto? Bought something legal legally then someone in the government changes their mind and now you lose your property or go to jail. I hope they don’t ban wood houses next.

      • Michael January 26, 2019, 4:45 pm

        It’s ex post facto.

  • walt morris January 25, 2019, 10:18 am

    these socialist/communist are using the playbook of joseph stalin, mao tse tung. of course the new millenials have no clue what that means because their wonderful education has not taught them anything about world history. the communist leaders in our worlds history have been responsible for the loss of life to the tune of hundreds of millions. the thing about these laws leaves the common man no way to protect themselves from the murderous curs who purport to act in their behalf.
    do you suppose that these young non-educated people ever ask themselves why the cities with the strongest gun control have the highest crime rates and the cities with the most liberal gun laws have the lowest crime rates. to become one of the law makers in our country you have to take an oath office to “protect and defend out constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic” . failing to do that amounts to treason against our country and i thought carries the penalty of death by firing squad. maybe that won’t ever happen but i believe if these laws are put into place they will find them looking down the barrels of patriotic americans who believe that we still want to live in a free country. if these attempts to take away our freedom are not put to rest i fear that there will be another revolution the likes of which the world has never seen.

    • PEEWEE HENSON January 25, 2019, 11:47 am

      I CONCUR. KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY AND NEVER EVER SURRENDER YOUR WEAPON. THERE’S NO GLORY TO BEING SHOT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD

  • paul goldstein January 25, 2019, 8:54 am

    “It all depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is”…sorry, what was I thinking…It all depends on what the meaning of ‘keep’ (as in ‘The Right To Keep And Bear Arms’) is.

    The learned Justices may say that ‘keep’ pertains only to specific firearm(s) located at a particular location, or domicile (yer house, bud). But multiple domiciles require multiple arms, each one tied (‘Kept’) to its own location. Therefore and thusly, no legal transport between locations. That would be an egregious violation of the law (why do I hear the ‘Honorable Lucius Starbuckle, Statesman & Blowhard’ (John Caradine in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, pontificating?))

    Pardon me while I adjust the lapels on my Prince Albert.

    Treacherous times, amigos.
    Treacherous, treacherous times.

    As always, your thoughts, gut feelings, vibes and intuitions, etc., etc., etc. are welcome.

  • Gary Hull January 25, 2019, 8:52 am

    This shows how hypocritical NEW YORK is. They allow babies to be murdered right up to birth but won’t all their citizens capability to defend themselves during their daily lives. Absolutely bizarre!

  • Chris January 25, 2019, 8:47 am

    My guess is that it will be decided on a narrow point of law that will only effect those that are subject to that law. But then any win these days is a good thing.

    • deanbob January 25, 2019, 9:55 am

      I’ll really go out on a limb (sarcastically) and say it will be 5-4 (assuming RBG is able to vote) along ideological lines. But I think Chief Justice Roberts is a bit of a wildcard as he demonstrated his activism twice in changing Obamcare to make it (allegedly) constitutional, even though the constitution ONLY gave that power to the legislature.

  • Christopher Bertram January 25, 2019, 8:37 am

    I shall not comply to any and all UNCONSTITUTIONAL laws/ legislation that the jokers in political office’s try to make. Our founding fathers are rolling in there graves at this point and if still alive they woukd have prosecuted the whole lot of them for TREASON TO CONSPIRE TYRANNY. Make me sick!

  • Ardvark January 25, 2019, 8:33 am

    Watch for Roberts and possibly Kavanaugh go side with the liberals against against the 2nd Amendment!

    • Earl Haehl January 25, 2019, 9:49 am

      I believe we should stop referring to Bismarckean statists as liberals. The last liberal Dsemocrat president was Grover Cleveland who was stuck with Anti-ttrust laws by hist predecessor.

  • Dr Motown January 25, 2019, 7:16 am

    We shall see….far too many cases have been languishing out there while local communities brazenly restrict 2A rights

  • Abner T Yokum January 25, 2019, 5:59 am

    About time.

  • Singleshotcajun January 25, 2019, 4:55 am

    Hopefully a 5-4 or 5-3 our way.

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