Restrictive Handgun Law to Be Considered by Supreme Court

In this photo taken from a video shot on Nov. 28, 2018, a man fires a gun at the American Tactical Systems' indoor range in Green Island, New York.

In this photo taken from a video shot on Nov. 28, 2018, a man fires a gun at the American Tactical Systems' indoor range in Green Island, New York. AP Photo

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The New York City law restricts gun owners from transporting an unloaded handgun, locked in a container away from ammunition, outside their homes unless heading to a gun range in the city.

A New York City law that forbids people from transporting their unloaded handguns anywhere in the city aside from shooting ranges will be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association asked the court to hear the case, which a group of Republican state attorney generals also urged the justices to take up. The law forbids gun owners from taking their guns, unloaded and in a different container than bullets, outside the city or to most places within the city. They can only take the weapons to a shooting range in the city. 

Under city law, someone with a "premises" license can have a gun in their house or business for self defense, as is required by the court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. In New York City, gun owners can get a concealed carry permit if they show they have a special reason for taking the gun outside the home. 

This is the first Second Amendment case the court has decided to take in almost a decade, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. SCOTUSblog noted that the already full Supreme Court docket this spring means the case likely won't be heard by the justices until the fall. 

Petitioners called the city law "bizarre," saying it was an example of "a broader push by local governments to restrict Second Amendment rights through means that would never fly in any other constitutional context." The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban, saying city gun owners who wanted to take their guns to second homes could always buy a separate weapon or rent a firearm when they are at shooting ranges outside the city. 

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Laura Maggi is Managing Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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