Once the Supreme Court granted cert in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York it began to dawn on the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex just how much the case puts their ever-growing web of Second Amendment infringing gun control laws at risk.
The Heller and McDonald decisions had been openly flouted by lower courts for a decade and SCOTUS was taking the opportunity to, uh, clarify those precedents and the limits on Second Amendment rights restriction.
As friend of TTAG and attorney LKB noted, the potential for applying strict scrutiny to laws which affect the right to keep and bear arms — basically treating the Second Amendment as an equal to other civil rights — could topple gun control laws all over the country. That’s a threat gun grabbers finally had to take very seriously. The last thing they want to see is Americans exercising the RKBA, willy-nilly, without appropriate supervision and control.
That’s why there’s now a move on in New York to render the case before the Court moot by changing the law. It’s a painfully obvious attempt to avoid what they see as a very good chance of an adverse ruling. And the city has asked the Court to delay further action on the case while they maybe, possibly, do something to the law in question.
Here’s the NRA’s statement on the city’s maneuver . . .
Fairfax, Va. – Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in regards to today’s attempt by the City of New York to dismiss the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al.:
“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years.
“Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process — the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.
“That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect.
“This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
“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.”
Again, New York hasn’t changed its ridiculously restrictive law yet. They’re just claiming that they might do so in the future and asking the Court to delay for now. But according to LKB, there are exemptions to the mootness doctrine that the Court could invoke to allow the case to go forward even if New York City does actually rush through a change in the law.
And the fact that the proposed law change is so clearly intended to sidestep the pending case is an obvious, cynical move that won’t win them any friends on the Court.
Keep your eyes on this.