A regulation was introduced in the New York City that prevented licensed firearm owners from taking their weapons in and out of the city. The Supreme Court is set to hear its first major Second Amendment case in nearly a decade, weighing a challenge against the regulation.
Gun rights activists instigated the legal battle after a federal appeals court upheld a city ordinance that allowed licensed residents to take their firearms outside of their homes to only seven shooting ranges within the city, thus forbidding them from transporting the weapons to a second home or a gun range outside city limits.
The challenge is backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) over the “recently-amended” regulation. Three handgun owners and the New York state affiliate of the NRA will appeal to the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The gun-rights group is closely aligned with President Donald Trump and other Republicans. According to them, the regulation violates the “Second Amendment, right to keep and bear arms” of the U.S. Constitution.
According to some gun control advocates if the justices choose to issue a broad ruling expanding gun rights; it could compromise a variety of firearms restrictions passed in recent years by state and local governments across the country.
Since 2013, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted more than 300 gun control laws to avoid numerous mass shootings according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The future of life-saving gun safety laws across our country is very directly on the line with this case,” said the center’s litigation director, Hannah Shearer.
One of the plaintiffs, Romolo Colantone, a Staten Island resident said, “I believe it will change the way the Second Amendment is applied to everyone who owns a gun in the country”.
The lawsuit was filed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association in 2013 along with three city residents who were prohibited by authorities to participate in a shooting competition in New Jersey.
The plaintiffs are appealing a 2018 ruling by the Manhattan-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the regulation did not violate the Second Amendment. However, it promotes the city’s interest in protecting public safety.
Some open questions such as whether that right extends “outside the home” still exist. The challengers are also asking the Supreme Court to include lower courts to strike the gun regulation.