Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Supreme Court: NYSRPA Files Response to NYC Mootness Claim

Friday, August 2, 2019

Supreme Court: NYSRPA Files Response to NYC Mootness Claim

On July 22, the City of New York filed a motion to have the pending NRA-supported case against it dismissed by the United States Supreme Court on the basis that the litigation has been forestalled by recent legislative maneuverings at the state and local level. At the same time, the City also asked the Supreme Court to further extend the deadline by which the City had to file its merits brief, from August 5 to September 30. The reason offered for the extension request was that, given the mootness claim, the City was left “without any legal reason to file a brief responding to the substantive claims [the] petitioners have advanced,” but “[g]ranting this extension will allow breathing space for the Court to determine how it wishes this case to proceed, if at all.”   

Unpersuaded by this odd reasoning, on July 24 the Supreme Court denied the request for additional time without ruling on the mootness question.

Counsel for the petitioners, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) and individual gun owners, have since filed a lengthy response addressing the City’s mootness argument in detail. The legislative changes that the City points to as decisive with respect to the proceedings are neither final nor conclusive, and the City’s “undisguised effort to avoid a precedent-setting loss and to frustrate [the] Court’s discretionary review falls short by every measure.”

Despite the hyped changes to the City’s premises handgun license rules, it is clear that the City continues to exert “plenary authority” over every kind of transport, and the “default rule that a law-abiding citizen may not remove” a licensed handgun from inside his or her premises, except in certain narrow circumstances, is unimpaired. Likewise, the companion amendment to state law, N.Y. Penal Law §400.00(6), represents only a limited modification of the state restrictions; the overall scheme – including an extraordinary prohibition on the transport of licensed handguns through New York City by non-residents without special authorization from the police commissioner – remains intact.

Also weighing against a finding of mootness is the fact that these last-minute legislative changes don’t (and can’t) insulate gun owners from further, future amendments, including legislation to restore the challenged restrictions should the case be dismissed. The City’s voluntary revocation of the exact rules at issue (and not an iota more) is “the product not of a change of heart, but of a naked desire to prevent [the Supreme] Court from hearing this case on the merits.” Absent judicial intervention, there is nothing to shield the petitioners from the same or similar restrictions being imposed at a later time.

Indeed, an amicus brief, filed in this case solely to address the mootness question, urges the Court to adopt a demanding standard for assessing mootness based on a government’s voluntary cessation of challenged conduct, pointing out that “governmental defendants frequently use strategic policy changes” in an effort to “preserve favorable outcomes or to avoid rulings against them.” In this case, the “City didn’t change its policy because it had a Second Amendment epiphany or felt a renewed commitment to protecting its citizens’ constitutional rights. Instead, it admits that it changed its policy due to ‘this Court’s grant of certiorari’—i.e., because it thought it would lose.”

The desire to foreclose any judicial evaluation of the legislative and policy underpinnings of the handgun licensing regime may explain why the City has been so explicit about advising the Court that, should the litigation proceed, the City now has no intention of addressing the substantive merits and the legal question on which the Court granted certiorari.

Unfortunately, what the City’s mootness argument fails to comprehend is that this new government “micromanaging” of the transport of lawfully possessed firearms is just as offensive to the constitutional rights of the petitioners as were the preexisting restrictions. The Second Amendment safeguards an individual right to keep and bear arms, and “not a mere privilege that municipal officials may deny as they see fit,” regardless of how the legislative sidestepping is framed. The “(in)adequacy of such miserly accommodations presents no less a live controversy” for the Supreme Court to address.

 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
New York Supreme Court
TRENDING NOW
Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

News  

Friday, September 27, 2019

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

On Sept. 25, the Democrat-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.” That framing of the issue underscored the erroneous notion that Americans need protection from ...

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

NRA-Supported Case Heard by Supreme Court

News  

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

NRA-Supported Case Heard by Supreme Court

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) says this week’s Supreme Court hearing on a New York City gun control law could ultimately strengthen the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second ...

Joe Biden Wants to Ban 9mm Pistols

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Joe Biden Wants to Ban 9mm Pistols

A week after he told voters that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect “a magazine with a hundred clips in it,” 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden offered supporters more of his singular brand of anti-gun ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NRA Files Joint Legal Challenge Against Firearm Storage Initiative Petition

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

NRA Files Joint Legal Challenge Against Firearm Storage Initiative Petition

On Friday, the National Rifle Association announced the filing of a joint legal challenge with the Oregon Hunters Association to contest Oregon Initiative Petition 40, which seeks to impose sweeping restrictions on the storage of ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

It’s Never Enough: Gun Control Advocates Won’t Ever Be Satisfied With Marginal Changes to Our Gun Laws

News  

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It’s Never Enough: Gun Control Advocates Won’t Ever Be Satisfied With Marginal Changes to Our Gun Laws

When seeking to pass whatever the anti-gun flavor of the month is when it comes to gun legislation, anti-gun advocates often claim to be seeking only “reasonable” solutions. They often claim that if just one ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.