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January 23, 2019

Supreme Court Puts New York City Gun Ban on Trial

Perhaps the Second Amendment will no longer be considered second class.

It’s been close to a decade since the Supreme Court wrangled with a case pertaining to the Second Amendment, that most critical of Amendments because it ensures all others, but that’s about to change. The 2010 case McDonald v. City of Chicago currently denotes the last instance in which the Supreme Court intervened on an issue directly related to the Second Amendment, though McDonald largely piggybacked on the benchmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller.

On Tuesday, however, “The justices agreed to consider a petition backed by gun owners’ groups asking them to strike down New York City’s strict rules for carrying legally owned guns outside the home,” USA Today reports. “The rules do not allow gun owners to transport firearms outside city limits, even to practice ranges or second homes. Lower courts have upheld the city’s regulations.”

Gun-rights activists explained to the Supreme Court, “It is business as usual for draconian restrictions in New York, and this court’s transformational rulings remain theoretical for the city’s 8.5 million residents.” Yet the city contends, “Unlike golf clubs and musical instruments, firearms present public safety risks that the city has a legitimate interest in protecting against. Limiting their possession and use in public minimizes the risk of gun violence.” Assuming expectations become reality, the city’s argument won’t pass muster with the Supreme Court.

The Wall Street Journal notes, “The case will put a spotlight on the court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, whose expansive view of gun rights while a lower-court judge came into focus during confirmation hearings last fall. In 2011, while serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, then-Judge Kavanaugh dissented from an opinion upholding a D.C. law prohibiting semiautomatic rifles it classified as ‘assault weapons’ within city limits and barring large-capacity ammunition magazines.”

The Journal adds, “Judge Kavanaugh … wrote that ‘the Constitution disables the government from employing certain means to prevent, deter, or detect violent crime,’ a position that helped inspire the National Rifle Association to back his confirmation last year with a major advertising campaign.”

In November, our Brian Mark Weber observed, “The [Heller] ruling came far too late to push back against decades of leftist propaganda and activism designed to convince millions of Americans that the Second Amendment was far different from the other nine rights — that it was neither individual nor narrowly limited but collective and extremely limited. Since then, lower courts have had a field day misinterpreting the Constitution and upholding laws making it harder for citizens to acquire guns.”

He added, “All this would be of less concern if the Supreme Court and its new, more conservative majority would simply take up more Second Amendment cases and decisively reestablish the self-evident right of American citizens to defend themselves. Indeed, the High Court may be the last best hope for securing this right against a leftist obsession to take it away.” The Supreme Court this week made a positive step toward doing just that. And thanks to President Donald Trump’s sublime Supreme Court picks, the prognosis is looking good.

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