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Gun Safety Advocates Respond to Supreme Court Ruling in Closely Watched Second Amendment Case

WASHINGTON – Litigators from three national gun safety organizations today responded in a press conference call to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in a case brought by the New York State affiliate of the NRA. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, was the first major case involving the Second Amendment to be heard by the Supreme Court since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010. 

Audio of the call is available here.

“The Supreme Court declined the invitation to adopt the NRA’s extreme and dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director of Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “As courts across the country have repeatedly made clear, life-saving gun safety laws are fully consistent with the Second Amendment.”

“Today’s decision to dismiss the case as moot is a victory for the rule of law and commonsense, constitutional gun safety laws,” said Hannah Shearer, Litigation Director, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s yet another loss for an NRA and gun lobby that are in disarray and at odds with the majority of Americans who want the government to keep them safe. As the gun lobby continues to advance its deadly interpretation of the Constitution, we will continue to stand with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support lifesaving gun safety laws by arguing for them in courtrooms across the country.”

“Today’s decision is a positive resolution for the overwhelming majority of Americans who want strong gun laws, and a blow to the gun lobby’s efforts to further a radical, unsupported interpretation of the Second Amendment,” said Jonathan Lowy, Chief Counsel, Brady. “We remain concerned by the apparent appetite of some Justices to expand the Second Amendment and deprive Americans of their right to enact reasonable laws that keep their communities safe. Today is a victory for the American people, but we must remain vigilant in the face of the gun lobby’s continued efforts to undermine public health and safety.”

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CASE:
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York is a case challenging now-repealed New York City regulations limiting the locations to which holders of a “premises license” could transport their handguns both within and outside of the city. Despite the fact that the rules are now repealed, the NRA hoped to use this case to roll back gun safety legislation nationwide.  

The former rule prohibited transporting firearms to gun ranges, shooting competitions and second homes outside of the city. Restrictions like New York City’s old rule do not exist anywhere else in the United States, nor is there an effort to implement similar regulations anywhere.

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is the New York State affiliate of the NRA.

This case is the first major Second Amendment case to go before the Supreme Court since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010. While the Supreme Court had not heard a major case involving gun rights for nearly a decade, the appellate courts have been very active. They have developed a consistent and effective approach to interpreting the constitutionality of gun-violence-prevention measures, one that protects both rights and public safety. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, the plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to throw out this approach and replace it with a new and extreme Second Amendment test that could put in legal jeopardy hundreds of gun safety laws across the country that have been proven to save lives.