New York City Weapons Restrictions On Trial at U.S. Supreme Court
New York’s laws on weapon possession will soon be on trial before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the decision could expand Second Amendment rights – and therefore weapons charges – around the country, as well as related regulations covering background checks and weapon confiscations from individuals deemed to be “dangerous” by the court.
The law at issue is New York City’s now-amended ban on licensed handgun owners taking their guns beyond the city, even to shooting ranges and second homes. Once amended, the rule allowed for guns to be taken to ranges and other residences, even if outside the city. However, the city could not get the Court to drop the case, even if the amendment removed what was being challenged. Now, gun advocates are hoping that the Court refuses to declare the case moot and extend the Second Amendment beyond the home. Doing so would place lower courts in the position of viewing local and state limits on carrying guns in public with skepticism.
Isn’t The Case Moot If the Restriction Was Adjusted?
Although the law has been amended in New York, according to some, gun owners’ rights are still being limited, and it is always possible that the rule could be reimposed. In addition, there are those who have arguably suffered while those constraints were in place.
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to possess firearms and use them for lawful purposes, including self-defense in their home. However, it left a large question up in the air: What this meant for carrying firearms either openly or concealed. New York is one of the states that has major limitations when it comes to this issue, even with the rule amended.
Court’s Decision Could Significantly Affect Weapons Charges In New York
The case marks the first time in nearly a decade that the Court has been willing to hear cases challenging gun restrictions. Meanwhile, lower courts have resolved more than 1,000 Second Amendment cases, finding in favor of the government’s ability to impose gun control measures and criminalize the possession of weapons under certain circumstances more than 90 percent of the time.
Depending upon which direction the Court goes in, it is possible that public carry rights could be expanded in states that provide law enforcement with the discretion to deny licenses, including New York. In addition, it could significantly limit the ability for cities and states to dictate what constitutes weapons crimes.
Contact an Experienced NYC Weapons Charge Attorney If You Are Facing Charges
During his almost 30 years of criminal defense practice here in New York, Mr. Cohen has addressed a myriad of constitutional violations associated with weapons offenses. If you have been charged with a weapons crime here in New York, contact NYC criminal attorney Mark I. Cohen to ensure that you are protected.