American Rifleman - July 2019 - 76

Supreme Court Rejects NYC's "Desperate Attempt"
To Delay Proceedings In Gun Rights Case

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Sturgeon Lake, MN (from: Reese
Musk); Austin Boosted, Tuscon,
AZ (from: Martha Boosted); Keith
Burge, Foristell, MO (from: Darlene
Burge); Johan Nelson Larsen (from:
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Inc.); Carl Noll, Columbus, OH (from:
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Marshalltown, IA (from: Dale P. Nelson);
William Henry Dorrance, Smyrna,
DE (from: Cheryl D. Nicolo); Dorothy
Jayes, Hamburg, NY (from: Hamburg
Rod & Gun Club); Frank D. Smith,
Montoursvilla, PA (from: John & Peggy
Martin); Chuck Stone, Chatham,
IL (from: Sharon Millburg); Orland
M. Owen, Jr., Charleston, SC (from:
Palmetto Gun Club); Herman "Bud"
Zemke, Newberg OR (from: Beverly
Montgomery).

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76

O

n April 29, the U.S. Supreme Court
refused to grant a request by
the city of New York to delay the
proceedings in the NRA-supported appeal
of New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n, Inc. v.
City of New York (No. 15-683).
Generally, New York state law prohibits
even the possession of a handgun in the
home without a license. A licensee in
New York City (NYC) must comply with
additional and specific restrictions. A license
is "not transferable to any other person
or location," and anyone with a "premises
license" is prohibited from removing the
handgun "from the address specified on the
license." However, because the rules also
require licensees to "endeavor to engage
in periodic handgun practice," an exception
at 38 R.C.N.Y. § 5-23(a)(3) allows a licensee
to transport a handgun "to and from an
authorized small arms range/shooting club."
This narrow exception applies only to seven
ranges located in NYC. It restricts the travel
to a direct route to and from the range, and
requires the handgun to be transported
unloaded (in a locked container) and separate
from any ammunition. Licensees who wish to
take their guns to other ranges or participate
in events or competitions outside NYC-or
who want to transport their guns to another
location-are prohibited from doing so.
In January, the Supreme Court agreed
to hear the appeal in this case. The
petitioners, individual licensees and the
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association
argue that-apart from the "precisely zero
empirical evidence" provided by the city to
justify its licensing rules as a public safety
measure-these "extreme, unjustified and
irrational" transport and travel restrictions on
lawfully owned handguns violate the Second
Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the
fundamental right to travel.
However, on April 12, legal counsel for
the city of New York and the New York City
Police Department (NYPD) filed a motion
with the Supreme Court seeking to suspend
JULY 2019

the proceedings, based on a new proposal to
change the NYC handgun rules. The motion
indicates that the NYPD has published a
"Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to
Comment on Proposed Rule," which should
set in motion a process that might result in a
future change in the licensing rules.
However, even assuming this proposed
rule would pass into law as drafted, it
represents only a limited modification to
existing 38 R.C.N.Y. § 5-23(a). The proposal
would not rescind the restraints already in
place (and at issue in the appeal), but would
allow a premises' licensee to transport
a handgun listed on their license to: (1)
another premises of the licensee "where the
licensee is authorized to have and possess a
handgun;" (2) a small-arms range/shooting
club authorized by law to operate as such,
whether located within or outside NYC;
and (3) a shooting competition at which the
licensee may possess the handgun "consistent
with the law applicable at the place of
the competition." All of these retain the
requirement that the handgun be transported
unloaded (in a locked container) with
ammunition being "carried separately," and
that the licensee travel "directly" to and from
these additional locations.
Counsel for the petitioners responded
to the city's "extraordinary request" by
indicating there is no good reason to grant
an "indefinite hold." The city's motion is,
at best, premature given the uncertain
status of the proposed amendment, and the
amendment itself is at odds with the city's
forceful defense of the existing rules as both
necessary and constitutional.
As NRA-ILA's Executive Director Chris
W. Cox put it, "The city of New York did
not respect its citizens' Second Amendment
rights before the Supreme Court granted
review in this case and it will not respect
them going forward. We are confident that
the court will reject New York's desperate
attempt to avoid review of its blatantly
unconstitutional laws."

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

Photo by Wikimedia/MattWade

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American Rifleman - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 4
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