There’s nowhere in the country where it’s more difficult to own a gun that New York City. If you have one, you can’t really take it much of anywhere, and that doesn’t even touch on getting a carry permit. In short, the law-abiding citizens of New York are screwed if they want to own a gun in the Big Apple.
But there’s a lawsuit underway to try and change that, a case that may become the biggest gun rights case since Heller, and the state of Louisiana has just joined the fight.
BATON ROUGE, LA – With federal court decisions impacting Louisiana people, regardless of where the lawsuits originate, Attorney General Jeff Landry is leading a 17-state coalition against a New York City gun restriction which threatens Second Amendment protections.
In an amicus brief filed today, General Landry’s coalition asks the United States Supreme Court to consider the permitting scheme’s burden on Second Amendment rights, the full extent of those rights, and the applicability of those rights to self-defense outside the home.
“The restrictive policies memorialized in New York City’s ‘premises permit’ scheme unduly burdens the Second Amendment rights held by all Americans,” said General Landry. “Criminalizing travel with a securely stored firearm creates an imbalance in our federal system that weighs against lawful exercise of the Second Amendment inside and outside of New York City.”
The terms of New York City’s pricey permit prohibit removing any firearm from the home with two exceptions, practicing at a range in the city or hunting in the state – and hunting requires authorization from the city’s police department. To remove a firearm from the home for any other purpose requires a separate, yet similarly expensive “carry” permit that is very difficult to obtain.
In their legal brief, General Landry and his counterparts argue that New York City did not show sufficient cause to burden citizens’ gun rights in their pursuit of crime prevention and public safety, both of which are frustrated by restricting licensed and trained gun owners from carrying outside their homes. This restriction has the practical implication of leaving thousands of firearms in unoccupied homes, where they are of no use to their lawful owners when faced with dangerous situations.
“The need for self-defense is not limited to the home and the right to possess a firearm should not be either,” said General Landry. “From self-defense to hunting, the lawful exercise of our Second Amendment rights should be fully supported.”
New York City’s regulation not only offends the Second Amendment and other constitutional protections, but it also poses a serious economic burden. “New York’s regulatory scheme discriminates against interstate commerce because it ‘deprives out-of-state businesses of access to a local market’ by forbidding its citizens from hunting and patronizing ranges outside the State with their own guns,” wrote General Landry and the others.
The 16 states joining Louisiana in the brief are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin through their Attorney Generals and Mississippi and Kentucky through their Governors. The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. et al. v. City of New York et al.
Honestly, this case needs to go to the Supreme Court and be heard. Laws that unfairly restrict the right to keep and bear arms need to die in a fire.
It should be noted, however, that New York City has had these laws for decades and decades and during that time it’s ranged from a relatively safe city to a crime-ridden hellhole and back again. It’s almost like these laws haven’t really worked in the first place.
Putting this particular law before the Court would result in New Yorkers getting a bit more of their rights back. I’m not quite sure how they’ll rule, but it sure would be nice to see it come down as something that also hits anti-gun states and cities throughout the nation hard.