“So, why step into the arena now? Given the originalist turn in the Court since Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation — and given his previous gun-rights jurisprudence — I sincerely doubt the court granted review to affirm the Second Circuit’s decision and uphold the New York City law. Barring an extraordinary jurisprudential reversal, the law is on its death march. But what does this signal about the new Court’s approach to the Second Amendment more broadly? Here are a few potentially overlapping options.”
What’s going on?
The Supreme Court has taken its first gun-rights case in almost a decade, and it’s a strange case indeed. 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.
It’s an astonishing law, but it’s also (given its single-city applicability and the fact that very few New Yorkers are able to get gun permits to begin with) one of the most limited gun-rights cases in the country. In the years since the Supreme Court recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and then ruled that the Second Amendment was applicable to state and local governments, it has time and again declined to rule on consequential cases.
by David French