NY State Rife & Pistol Case Unnerves Brady Campaign

I had been waiting to see the response of the gun prohibitionists to the Supreme Court granting certiorari in NY State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York. Jonathan Lowy, head of the Brady Campaign’s Legal Project, didn’t disappoint. A fundraising email was sent out yesterday under his signature yesterday afternoon.

He said, in part, that the stakes are high and it is a case of “life and death”.

The Supreme Court announced yesterday that, for the first time in almost a decade, it will hear a Second Amendment case – the first gun case to be decided by a Court with two Donald Trump-appointees. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, challenges a city ordinance governing transportation of firearms. Make no mistake: the stakes could not be higher. Commonsense gun safety laws across the country are at risk. We need your support to make sure that the voices of Americans who want stronger gun regulation are heard loudly in the Supreme Court.

The stakes for this case are nothing short of life and death. Whatever the Supreme Court says in its decision will help determine whether Americans maintain the right to enact the strong, commonsense public safety laws they want and need to protect loved ones and communities from gun violence, or if judges will take this right from us. But the Framers put “well-regulated” in the Second Amendment and “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence for good reason. We are committed to making sure the Supreme Court doesn’t write the gun industry’s guns-everywhere vision into our Constitution.

 He goes on to say that the Supreme Court never meant the Second Amendment to apply outside the home as evidenced by the Heller decision. In my opinion, he has misconstrued the late Justice Scalia’s decision.

What is interesting about all of this is that none of the gun prohibitionist organizations bothered to file amicus briefs against the Supreme Court granting cert in this case. The only amicus briefs were from a coalition including GOA, another organized by the Attorney General of Louisiana on behalf of a number of states, and another from the Western States Sheriffs Association and various law enforcement groups. These all were in favor of cert being granted. I don’t know whether it was hubris or ignorance that explains the casual approach of the gun control industry to this case but I am certain they will now be submitting amicus briefs fast and furiously in support of the position of New York City.

Judge Rules For Bloomberg In Suit Over City’s Handgun Permit Fees

US District Court Judge John G. Koeltl ruled today that the City of New York’s fees for the issuance of a residential handgun permit are Constitutional. In the case of Kwong et al v. Bloomberg et al, Judge Koeltl denied the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and granted the defendants’ cross motion for summary judgment.

The Second Amendment Foundation and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association along with seven individual plaintiffs had sued the City and the Attorney General of New York contending that the $340 fee charged violated the Second Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. With the sole exception of Nassau County on Long Island, the rest of the counties in New York State are only allowed to charge a maximum of $10 for this permit. The case was brought in US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The judge says there’s no evidence the fee has stopped anyone from exercising their rights. He says the city showed the fee helps cover administrative costs.

City Attorney Michael Cardoza says the ruling upholds the city’s ability to conduct meaningful checks into applicants’ qualifications. A lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

I have only had a chance to quickly skim Judge Koeltl’s 38-page opinion. I do note that he applies intermediate scrutiny to the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim while applying only rational basis scrutiny to their Equal Protection claim.

I hope to have a more in-depth review of the opinion in the next day or so.

The opinion can be found here.