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Supreme Court to review NYC gun ban case

A handgun and a gun safe. (Tech. Sgt. Thomas Dow/U.S. Air Force)
January 22, 2019

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a gun rights case involving a New York City gun ban.

The ban prohibits the transport of handguns unless to or from a shooting range, and mandates that handguns are unloaded and remain in a locked container, CNBC reported Tuesday.

The Supreme Court will hear the case in its next term, which begins in October and extends through June 2020.

It is the first time in nearly a decade that the Supreme Court will review a case regarding the Second Amendment.

The gun ban case was originally decided in the city’s favor by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and later affirmed by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Feb. 2018.

It was challenged by the three handgun owners – Romolo Colantone, Efrain Alvarez, and Jose Anthony Irizarry — and the NY Rifle and Pistol Association, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

“Both the City’s transport ban and the Second Circuit’s decision sanctioning it are extreme outliers even among Second Amendment decisions,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote in their petition.  “Indeed, if the Second Circuit’s version of heightened scrutiny is what this Court had in mind in Heller and McDonald, there was little point to recognizing a fundamental, individual right and making it applicable against state and local governments.”

Anti-gun advocates are concerned that the conservative-majority Supreme Court could come to a decision that makes it more difficult for gun control to be enacted at the state and local level.

UCLA School of Law professor Adam Winkler said, “There’s a bunch of unsettled questions that need to be answered in the Second Amendment area,” according to USA Today.

“You have four justices who are very strongly committed to robust Second Amendment protections,” he added. “The case has great potential to limit the ability of state and local governments to pass gun control legislation.”

“Unlike golf clubs and musical instruments, firearms present public safety risks that the city has a legitimate interest in protecting against,” city officials argued in the Supreme Court brief. “Limiting their possession and use in public minimizes the risk of gun violence.”