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SCOTUS to Hear First Gun Case in a Decade

By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 24, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For the first time in a decade, the Second Amendment will finally have its day in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The timing is noteworthy because the Justices know it's been a long stretch without judicial review. Justice Clarence Thomas noted it last year when he called the Second Amendment a "disfavored right" in the Supreme Court.

Now that it is before them in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York, the question is: will the right get what it's asking for?

Disfavored Right?

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is challenging a New York City law that bars residents from transporting handguns beyond city limits. After passing over many gun cases, the Justices want to hear this one.

The Washington Post said it "may signal that the reinforced conservative majority on the Court is ready to consider more laws that restrict gun rights."

The SCOTUSblog said the Court may "stick to the relatively narrow question of the city's law is constitutional." Or, the Justices may address a bigger question: whether the right to possess a gun extends beyond the home.

The petitioners say the city ordinance "is an extreme, unjustified and irrational restriction on Second Amendment rights." They have a running start because of the High Court's decision in its last gun case.

Last Gun Case

In McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court said Second Amendment rights apply to state and local governments. That was 2010.

In any case, the Supreme Court's decision to hear the New York case is already making headlines. The opinion probably won't come out until next year, but it will certainly be news.

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