In January, the Supreme Court picked up its first gun case in nearly a decade and the first gun case since Trump cemented a constitutionalist majority with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh last year.
The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, deals with the city’s ban on carrying a firearm outside of the home to any location other than a firing range.
Gun rights advocates are clamoring for the courts to recognize the constitutional right to carry guns in public and are challenging New York City’s regulation. The results thus far have been less than favorable, as both the district and appeals court threw out the case.
However, when the Supreme Court picked up the case, all signs pointed to gun rights being expanded by the court for the first time since McDonald v. Chicago, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional right to own firearms for self defense, a right affirmed just two years earlier in DC v. Heller, also applies to the states.
New York City, in an attempt to prevent gun rights activists from gaining ground, substantially eased restrictions on carrying guns outside the house in order to have the case declared moot.
“New legislation or regulations giving plaintiffs all they seek moots the case,” wrote Zachary W. Carter, corporation counsel for New York City.
However, gun rights activists believe NYC should not be able to weasel its way out of this case—avoiding the constitutional question the case asks—just because they may not be pleased with the outcome.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, it will further affirm the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Such an affirmation would only serve to further tie the hands of leftist states that aim to strip individuals of these rights.
The Supreme Court has until October 1, a week before the new term begins, to decide if the case truly is moot. Otherwise, the case will be heard and decided within the next year.