New York should tighten their gun laws as a safety measure

By HADASSAH EDELKOPF
On December 10, 2019

Photo courtesy of Don Sniegowski, Flickr

The pending case before the Supreme Court, “New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York,” will determine whether individuals can carry arms outside their homes, in states that currently don’t allow it, as well as whether they can transport those arms across states. 

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Dec. 2. The issue is, “Whether New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the commerce clause and the constitutional right to travel,” according to the blog of the Supreme Court.

“This case has enormous implications on the future of the second amendment. It will be very interesting to see if the Supreme Court hears the case. This is one of the most controversial issues to come to the court in years,” said Jared Mayer, a third-year law student at the University of Chicago Law School. 

The state of New York, New York City and rifle associations all have a stake in this case. The Second Circuit of the Court of Appeals upheld New York state laws in this matter. 

This is a very important case because states such as New York, and other Democratic liberal states, allow people to bear arms in their homes. However, they are not allowed to go outside their homes and carry their guns. They are also not allowed to transport arms across state lines. 

For example, someone may have a permit to own a gun, but they may not put it in their car to transport it from New York to New Jersey. However, in Texas, people are allowed to carry guns outside of their homes. 

Florida is another state where people can carry guns outside of their homes. The issue in New York is that if a person has a permit to own a gun, they cannot travel to a New Jersey shooting range to shoot a pistol. 

“The Supreme Court has been in no mood to expand or clarify the meaning of District of Columbia v. Heller, which the justices have interpreted to apply in all 50 states. Nor did the court take on any other Second Amendment cases in the decade after deciding the Heller case,” wrote Nicholas Konrad in a Dec. 2 New York Times opinion article. 

“Lower courts have read the Heller opinion as permitting all manner of gun-control measures, including bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines,” he continued.

If the Supreme Court votes to allow people to carry guns across state lines, that will make it easier for people to gain access to guns, as well as allow people who possibly should not be using guns, to carry them on their person and across state lines. 

If guns are not allowed to be carried across state lines, it will limit the ability of people to transport firearms between states, but it may increase the illegal market for guns.

There more limitations placed on the ownership and limitations of firearms, the better off this country will be. While there will always be people who will find illegal ways to gain access to guns, the more the Supreme Court can do to restrict access to guns, the safer America will be.

 

hedelkop@ramapo.edu

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