Supreme Court To Hear Gun Rights Case Challenging New York Law

January 22, 2019 - 3:42 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear its first gun rights case in nine years, challenging New York City’s ban on carrying a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun outside city limits.  

Three New York gun owners and a National Rifle Association affiliate filed the case, which will be heard by the court in October— possibly signaling a revived interest in gun rights by an increasingly conservative court.

Georgia State Law School professor Eric Segal believes Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement likely spurred the court's acceptance of the case.

“The reason, we think, the court had not taken a gun case in so long was the four liberals didn't know how Kennedy would vote. The four conservatives didn't know how Kennedy would vote. So, everybody was shy to take a case. We know how Justice Kavanaugh is going to vote because he told us in the Heller II case coming out of the District of Columbia,” Segal said. “So now there are probably five votes to overturn this New York law.”

Additionally, CBS News legal analyst Thane Rosenbaum says adding two conservative judges to the court may have created "an appetite now for strengthening and expanding gun rights."

Already, gun control advocates are concerned. The city's top lawyer has even begun to urge the Supreme Court to reject the case as the New York law allows police to reduce the number of guns carried in public.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also voiced his worries.

“Anything that takes away our right to protect our own people would hurt this city deeply. The laws we have now are working,” de Blasio said.

Currently, there are seven shooting ranges throughout the five boroughs. The three gun owners are seeking to overturn the law in order to bring their weapons to shooting ranges outside the city limits or other homes elsewhere in the state.