This past month, the Supreme Court decided to move forward in the case of a New York regulation essentially barring the transport of handguns outside of one’s home. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, includes all gun owners living in New York City as plaintiffs.
Pro-Second Amendment advocates argue that the law would expose lawful gun owners to harassment. The ordinance technically permitted transportation of New York City licensed guns to places outside of the city. However, it required the owners to transport them without stopping on the way.
This means that someone could be charged for violating the law if he or she were to merely stop for a cup of coffee at a convenience store on the way to a destination, even if the guns were locked in a case in the trunk of the vehicle!
Just Kidding, Your Honors!
Immediately after the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case, New York rushed to repeal the ordinance. Critics contend this was done at the urging of Bloomberg-backed gun-control groups, seeking to avoid a broad ruling that could affect other local gun-control laws around the country.
Justice Neil Gorsuch today called the sudden repeal “a herculean late-breaking effort” to avoid constitutional review by the Supreme Court. (FOX News) Attorneys for New York argued that the city’s move made the case moot and urged the court to dismiss the matter.
But the court has not done so, and the gun owners argue that the case is still live because the city could penalize them for past violations of the law. Don’t laugh; more than a few people have been prosecuted after laws have expired.
‘Local’ Gun-Control Threats
This case is important because, despite the successes in the two previous Supreme Court rulings (McDonald and Heller), Second Amendment and self-defense advocates point out that local cities and counties often attempt to pass more restrictive laws. New York is merely the latest offender.
In response, many states have passed preemption laws and/or state constitution amendments. Such measures prohibit local agencies from passing any law that is more restrictive than Federal and/or state law. But the attacks keep coming.
Fighting Back: ‘Sanctuary’ Cities for Gun Owners?
Per the Washington Post: “A resistance movement is boiling up in Virginia, where Democrats rode a platform on gun control to historic victories in state elections earlier this month.”
“In the past two weeks, county governments from the central Piedmont to the Appalachian Southwest — Charlotte, Campbell, Carroll, Appomattox, Patrick, Dinwiddie, Pittsylvania, Lee and Giles — have approved resolutions that defy Richmond to come take their guns.”
One Virginia law enforcement official has taken it even further. Sheriff Scott Jenkins of Culpepper County, Virginia, announced on December 4, that he has a strategy if gun control comes knocking.
Jenkins says he’ll deputize thousands of law-abiding citizens who would otherwise be denied their right to defend themselves and their families by tyrannical gun control laws!
Your Voice Matters
How effective such sanctuary tactics will be is no easier to predict than the eventual ruling by the Supreme Court. But what is clear is that our opponents never rest. As a result, it’s incumbent on every gun owner — especially every man or woman who carries a gun for personal protection — to stay informed, involved and committed.
All our rights depend on it.
About John Caile
NRA Certified Instructor John Caile has more than 35 years of experience in the firearms industry, including training others in concealed carry and practical handgun shooting skills. As the communications director of the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee, he was instrumental in passing Minnesota’s landmark concealed carry permit law. John has appeared on national talk radio and network and public television and is a contributing writer for Concealed Carry Magazine. He continues his lifelong activism for gun owners and their rights in Palm Coast, Florida.
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