New York City tries to Amend Gun Laws to Avoid SCOTUS Showdown
New York City –The Supreme Court recently took up the first Second Amendment related case since the historic decision in D.C v Heller. In this new case, the New York Pistol and Rifle Association with the backing & legal guidance of the NRA is suing the city of New York over their law, preventing law-abiding citizens from transporting firearms outside the city limits. Currently, residents can only use one of seven ranges within the city’s boundaries.
According to the New York Times, the New York Police Department held a public hearing on amending the law, and they have taken written comments. New York politicians are fearful of taking the blame if the Supreme Court rules against the law, which would then affect gun laws across the entire country.
The unusual public hearing is a requirement before the city can amend the law. At the hearing and in the written comments, gun rights advocates attacked the city’s motives as a blatant attempt at trying to make the court case disappear.
Some residents on the gun control side of the issue admit that the changing of the law is to head off the Supreme Court challenge.
“I support the proposed rule changes,” wrote one person “I have attached a document of several additional rule changes which I believe are necessary to comply with Osterweil, benefit pistol permit holders, and render the Supreme Court case moot.”
Other residents want to see New York City to defend their gun laws and let SCOTUS decide if the law is constitutional or not.
“I think the state of NY needs to defend their gun laws,” wrote another New York resident. “I don’t want any changes to the law currently. I’d like to see this go to the Supreme Court. I’d really like to see the highest Court in the nation decide this once and for all!”
Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners, also sees the change as a gimmick to prevent a broader reaching ruling by SCOTUS.
“The Supreme Court needs to take up this case, regardless of what New York City does,” Pratt told AmmoLand News. “The lower courts are ignoring both the language of the Second Amendment and the rulings in Heller and McDonald at a furious rate. So, we need to have the Court step in and set the record straight. By the way, Gun Owners of America has submitted a [supporting] brief to the Supreme Court and is arguing that “shall not be infringed” is the standard that every judge in America should use.”
The city asked SCOTUS to suspend the filing of briefs while the city considered changes to the regulation. The Justices rejected the city’s request. The proposed amendment would not be law. The city could reinstate the amendment to the code at any time.
It is for this reason that the courts in the past have considered changes like one New York City is trying to do as moot.
If the law is amended, the new version would go into effect within a month. Experts believe the city will change the law to try to avoid a SCOTUS hearing.