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New York Rifle and Pistol

Tuesday, February 05, 2019 17:01 | Anonymous

Tyrants cannot afford to be laughed at.  Once the pomposity of the magistrate is ignored as being too boorish, or worse, becomes the subject of ridicule without fear of retribution, power has ebbed from its manicured hands.

The best “comeuppuance,” clearly, is from Divine Intervention, but close to that is the rejection of the tyrant that comes from the most inconsequential grievance that escalates to massive repudiation of an entire regime.

Such an event may be about to unfold.

A couple of weeks ago, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear the case of New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, No. 18-280.

A little background is necessary:

New York has a city ordinance that mandates the only legal way to transport a firearm outside of your home (without a CCW or LTC) is unloaded, in a locked container, AND only to and from the range.

This secondary clause is the most problematic.

Assume a resident of New York has multiple properties in the city.  She wants to move a firearm from one location to another.  Her transit from property A to property B is an illegal act (unless, of course, she stops by the range in the middle of her trip).  Interestingly enough, when a gun owner brings his weapon to a city range, the range staff mark in the gun and mark out the gun.  This, theoretically, creates a to and from record.  Now, ranges outside the city do not mark in and out.  So, as a matter of record, gun owners transporting their firearms are “always going or coming from ranges outside the city.”

The New York Rifle and Pistol Association felt this ordinance was unfair and, arguably, unconstitutional.  The trial court and the court of appeals surprisingly (sarcasm) disagreed.  

It appealed to the US Supreme Court.

Since Heller and progeny, there really has not been a meaningful 2A case heard by the Supremes.

Until now.

(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)

I suspect that this case is going to be a “vehicle case” (no pun intended).  There are times when the Supremes agree to hear a case that, if narrowly tailored, has really no major national import.  Other times, they use a seemingly innocuous case… and use it as a vehicle to enact major changes.

For years a putatively conservative court refused to hear any challenges to laws implicating the Second Amendment.  It only takes four justices to agree to hear a case… however, it takes five justices to win a case.  Justice O’Connor, while a putative conservative, was no friend to the Second Amendment.  Justice Scalia knew this and refused to join three justices to hear any 2A cases for fear they would ultimately lose, thus, burdening future generations with bad 2A jurisprudence.  

That changed after O’Connor left the court.  Justice Kennedy was willing to agree that the Second Amendment was a fundamental individual right.  Thus, we had Heller v. District of Columbia.  Kennedy was not, however, ready to go beyond that and we had a stalling of 2A cases.

Until Kavanaugh.

With him on the bench, we now have five justices who, arguably, will rule for our Constitutionally-protected rights as opposed to ruling against them.

It is highly unlikely the Court was animated to strike down (or uphold) a local ordinance.  Frankly, it is just too…pedestrian… for their evolvement.

I suspect something more grandiose may be looming on the horizon.

As petit tyrants emerge, becoming governors, congressman, or even presidential candidates, their mantra resonates from their megaphones:  “We know what is best for you!  Freedom is conformity to our beliefs on collectivism!  We will not be constrained by anachronistic calls for the chaos that comes from individual liberty!”  

Standing in check against their assault on freedom are patriots like you, buoyed by a judiciary who understands the philosophical underpinnings of classical liberalism our Framers sacrificed so much to codify.

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