Second Amendment Case Heads to Supreme Court

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Second Amendment Case Heads to Supreme Court

Jack Breton, Staff Writer

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It was announced last January that the Supreme Court would hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. The City of New York – the largest second amendment case to be heard by the Court in nearly a decade.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. The City of New York revolves around whether “New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the commerce clause and the constitutional right to travel”, according to ScotusBlog.com.

The case was first filed in June of 2018. New York City legislators changed their gun laws after the Supreme Court announced they would hear the case in hopes that it would remove the need for the court to weigh in, effectively solving the legal controversy between the plaintiffs and the city.

But the case isn’t dead quite yet. 

Gun Control Advocates across the country are petitioning for the Supreme Court to throw out the case, citing the fact that a resolution has already been reached between the city and the gun association.

The case is significant for two major reasons. If the court decides to decide in favor of the plaintiff, it would extend the scope of the second amendment and gun rights and set a major precedent.

This case is also significant because it will “offer a window into the psychology of the Court’s Republican majority” according to Vox.com

Because of those facts, this case is of major importance to gun control advocates. Before his death this summer, retired Justice John Paul Stevens opened a view into the court’s internal arguments about cases of this type – showing some of the ideological leanings of the court.

New supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh is eager to expand gun rights, and this is the first case where he has the chance to vote that way. Kavanaugh stated in 2011 that he is in favor of assessing gun bands on “text, history, and tradition” instead of “strict or intermediate scrutiny”, a conservative opinion. Vox reports that this case offers Kavanaugh the “perfect vehicle to upend the consensus framework” and impose his views on assessing gun laws in the context of history and tradition.

Up until October, there was a large possibility that this case would be dismissed as “moot”.

New York had already changed its laws in question in favor of the plaintiff, so there seems to be little to gain from continuing the case. However, the importance

of the case presented earlier shows why the case is continuing to the supreme court.

The case was voted to continue earlier this month, shattering the hopes of many gun control advocates that it would be considered moot.

Arguments are set to begin on December 2nd, 2019.

IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ATLANTIC