New York City’s latest effort not to have to go to court over one of its gun laws failed at the Supreme Court on Monday. Justices told the city’s lawyers to wait until December to try again.
The case in question is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. [NYSRPA] v. City of New York, New York, which asks whether New York City’s laws about transporting a licensed, unloaded, and locked firearm to a residence or shooting range outside the five boroughs is consistent with the Second Amendment.
The city has tried to make the case that, because it eased its transport restrictions, that the case is now moot. The Supreme Court, however, didn’t see it that way Monday when it issued an order denying New York’s “suggestion of mootness” and adding, “The
question of mootness will be subject to further consideration at oral argument, and the parties should be prepared to discuss it.” Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for early December.
Back in July, the city filed a document making the case for mootness after it put out a new set of regulations that it said “give petitioners everything they have sought in this lawsuit.”
Lawyers for the petitioners in the case — the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association — responded to that by saying the case should nonetheless go before the court.
New York state law requires licenses for handgun ownership that are issued by local authorities; these are either a “possess on premises” or concealed carry permit. The case began over six years ago in March 2013 and deals with the former. Under New York City’s previous set of regulations, a Federalist Society blog post explains, “a New Yorker whom the City itself has licensed to possess a handgun cannot transport her handgun to a weekend second home (even to exercise the core constitutional purpose of self-defense), to an upstate county to participate in a shooting competition, or even across the bridge to a neighboring city for target practice.”