This is Likely a Victory Coming

You may or may not have heard of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. City of New York.  This is a challenge to a New York City regulation that says people with premises licenses for their handguns (which is required to have a pistol in your home or business) may not take their unloaded, inaccessible, and secured pistols anywhere except one of the licensed gun ranges in the city.  You may not go to a range outside the city, to your home in upstate New York, to a competition of any sort.  You are allowed to take your gun to a gunsmith, but only if you get advance permission from the NYPD.  Remember, to get a premises license requires a background check and a good enough reason for the NYPD to grant you a license—but you are clearly too untrustworthy to transport this instrument of evil out of the city.  (Most of us would think NYPD would want them all to leave the city.)

There are so many things wrong with this regulation.  It means that if you go on vacation, you are leaving a pistol in an unoccupied residence.  How many locks do New Yorkers have on their front doors?  Is that just for show?

Also, you cannot take your pistol for self-defense at your second home.  Right to self-defense impaired.  You cannot practice with your gun at a range in New jersey that might be closer to you than the licensed ranges in NYC.  That can’t reduce the risk of gun theft.  NYPD’s response?  Buy a second pistol or rent one at an out of state range.  Great way to get your practice with the gun you actually own, right?

This is such a stupid regulation that when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear it, NYPD filed a request to not hear it: “We’ll make the regulation less ridiculous.”  But the Court denied their motion.  If they change it today, they can change it back tomorrow.

The good news is that the Court agreed to hear the appeal.  This is the only place in America with a rule this outrageous.  If the Court strikes it down, only New Yorkers (and only those privileged enough to have premises licenses) will benefit.  So why should you care?  The U.S. Courts of Appeals have been ignoring D.C. v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010).  The Court may see this a chance not just to strike down this particular regulation, but provide “guidance” (ruler across the knuckles) to the lower courts.

Now I know many conservatives are still upset that Trump beat Clinton two years ago, but this why who we elect matters.  Not only has Trump appointed two progun justices to the Court, but one of the amicus briefs filed in this case is by the Solicitor General.  And what is that title?  This is the Department of Justice lawyer who represents the administration before the Supreme Court.  And the brief argues that this regulation violates the Second Amendment!  The Solicitor General of President Clinton or President Obama would have filed a brief in favor of the regulation.

I have high hopes for the resulting decision, and the sound of exploding heads among gun control advocates!

Clayton E. Cramer teaches history at the College of Western Idaho. His most recently published book is Lock, Stock, and Barrel: The Origins of American Gun Culture.

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Clayton Cramer

Clayton Cramer – Conservative. Idaho. Software engineer. Historian. Trying to prevent Idiocracy from becoming a documentary.