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Charlie T Waite

New York: Legislature Attempting to Moot Supreme Court Review of NYC Law

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On Wednesday, the Senate Codes Committee passed S.6151 (Kavanaugh) on a 9 to 4 vote.  This legislation is a desperate attempt to moot United States Supreme Court review of New York City’s unconstitutional firearm travel laws in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York.  The Supreme Court has already rejected New York City’s effort to moot the case by offering to amend its current regulation. Now, suddenly, there is a second effort to stop the Supreme Court from hearing this case by changing New York State penal law.

The bill will next be heard on the Senate floor as early as next week.  Please contact your state Senator and ask him/her to oppose this legislation. 

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The introduction of S.6151 underscores our position that New York City has always known that its law and entire regulatory scheme is unconstitutional. The City has vigorously defended the law through various rounds of litigation for the last six years, claiming, without evidence, that it is a matter of “public safety.”

One of the many problems with S.6151 is that it still treats the Second Amendment as a privilege as opposed to a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution. This legislation still gives New York City the sole discretion to “authorize” where New Yorkers can transport their firearms. This is a clear violation of both the Firearms Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) and the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Heller. It also prescribes “direct” travel which introduces a whole new host of problems and infringements. It does not give deference to the Supreme Court or to Federal law.

Again, please contact your state Senator and urge them to OPPOSE S.6151.

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