Judge Robert Sweet (courtesy AP via nydailynews.com)

“A pro-gun group’s lawsuit seeking to undermine the city’s strict gun control laws has been shot down by a Manhattan Federal Court judge,” nydailynews.com reports. “The NRA-affiliated New York State Pistol and Rifle Association sued the city in 2013, arguing that laws limiting certain licensed handgun owners to carrying their unloaded weapons directly to or from their homes and shooting ranges infringed on their Second Amendment rights.” You know: the “bear” part of “keep and bear arms.” Judge Robert Sweet [above] reckons that “shall not be infringed” means . . .

“must be balanced against society’s interests.” That’s not a direct quote from his 43-page ruling. This is:

“These regulations are reasonable and result from the substantial government interest in public safety,” Sweet wrote, citing previous rulings that “outside the home, firearms safety interests often outweigh individual interests in self-defense.”

So when a woman gets raped she can take some comfort in the fact that her defenselessness helps prevent crime. Or not. Anyway, New York City’s top pol is delighted.

“We are pleased that the city was able to defeat this challenge to our common-sense gun laws that are designed to keep us all safe,” said Mayor de Blasio’s spokeswoman, Marti Adams.

Well, not all of us. Just most. Some? [h/t DD]

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63 Responses to Federal Judge: Law Restricting Firearms Transportation “Modest Burden’ on 2A Protected Rights

    • Exactly. What does he care? He has nothing to lose.

      If only there were some way that bureaucrats, politicians, and judges would have to pay a personal penalty for violating our rights.

  1. “outside the home, firearms safety interests often outweigh individual interests in self-defense.” What? How the hell does he arrive at this conclusion? Where in the Constitution is there a clause that limits RKBA in the interests of firearms safety? Judges like this make me seriously wonder as to the future of our judicial system.

    • The Judicial branch is just as polluted and corrupt as the Legislative and Executive branches at all levels of Government. It seems there is a belief of “knowing what is best for the common folk” attitude among the Government. Do not trust any of them, No matter what political view they may spew. Once they are elected or selected for office, remaining in that office is their only concern.

      • And how have we arrived at this state where all three branches of our Federal government are polluted? We have allowed our politicians to be voted into office without respect for their stand on the issues; and, with respect to the judiciary, we have allowed executives to appoint judges without respect for their stand on the issues.
        Forty-some percent of households own guns. We PotG might constitute the largest single voting block in the nation; yet, only a little more than 5 million of us are dues-paying members of any gun-rights organization. Until we all muster at the polls and vote in favor of the Constitution we will have to live in the Reich our fellow Progressive citizens elect to rule over us. Tragically, it’s that simple.
        It baffles me; and yet, I understand. For decades I too was complacent about politics. I didn’t vote nor contribute to candidates’ campaigns. I excused myself because I lived in Chicago and in NJ where my vote wouldn’t count. Now, I live in a district of PA where my vote doesn’t count. Nevertheless, it finally dawned on me that I can contribute to 2A organizations and to candidates in other States who will support the 2A.
        Freedom lovers in the slave states can vote with their checkbooks, tipping the balance in the Senate, House and Presidential elections. We will all get around to it, some day.

        • “And how have we arrived at this state where all three branches of our Federal government are polluted?”

          Easy, it was designed that way in the document.

          Voting? Yeah right. You play by the House Rules and the House always wins.

          We need to go even further and realize that, while the foundation and some of the philosophical reasoning was spot on, our little governmental experiment has gone off the rails and needs to be reset. Period.

          The only voting that needs to be done is with your feet and with your money.

          “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.” – Lysander Spooner, from No Treason 1870

    • This guy needs to go back to school and learn about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States. Oh wait’, they don’t teach that anymore>
      I fear for the future of the United States. I fear for our freedom, I fear for our way of life and the things that we hold near and dear to our hearts. When a idiot makes a ruling like this the people can then ignore it and nullify the ruling by ignoring it just as they did at the Bundy ranch and in the Capital at Washington State with the gun sit in last Saturday. The police made no arrests, citizens openly defied the un constitutional laws recently passed on gun control by the leftest elected officials. That left em in their offices pounding on their desks with nobody listening or caring about their diktats.

  2. If they are all so worried about common sense firearms safety, why not endorse some publicly available fire arm safety classes? Something that teaches the 4 rules of gun safety, proper weapons handling, when to shoot, when not to shoot, how to strip and clean a weapon without putting a hole in yourself, that kind of stuff. Could the state of New York not try to fund a public education program on the matter? I’m betting they could ask the NRA, they’d do it for free, just to be allowed back in the city.
    Ah, but I’m talking about actual firearms safety, freely available and only suggested, not mandated. These people can’t achieve orgasm without telling somebody what to do and where.

    • That’s basically what I have been promoting here in TTAG for a while now.

      We have the House and Senate. Draft a basic 4-rules type law for school kids, taught yearly by LE or whoever.

      Drop that on Obama’s desk, nothing tied on it.

      Real.

      Actual

      Gun safety.

      I want to hear his excuse for not signing it into law. It will prove he lies about gun safety.

      • The Mountain that Rides and Geoff PR are toying with an interesting idea; particularly Geoff’s bare-bones proposal. Now, then, I imagine that we are all Constitutionalists here; and so, it’s incumbent upon us to found any such proposal on the Constitution.
        Generally, the Federal Government has no Constitutional Warrant for either the general education of children or to command the recourses of the several State governments. However, Article 1 Section 8 provides: “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, . . . reserving to the States respectively, . . . and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”
        Well, there we have it! Congress has explicit authority to prescribe the discipline according to which the States have Authority to train the Militia. We have here a clear constitutional warrant for Congress to prescribe “discipline” for militiamen which would include males at least 17 years-of-age; roughly, high school juniors and seniors. What better place to begin than muzzle discipline and trigger discipline? Followed by ammunition and target/ground discipline.
        I refrain from proposing that a Federal bill should command the States to “train” against the will of the States. Even so, it seems to me within Constitutional bounds for Congress to encourage the States to undertake training. The States enjoy a Federal subsidy of their State National Guard troops and facilities. I don’t see why the States should be free-rides on the Federal dole to enjoy the stand-by services of the organized militia without lifting a finger to exercise their authority to train the unorganized militia. Here, I beg to depart from Geoff’s proposal of “no strings attached”. A Congressional bill can provide for funding of each State’s National Guard in accordance with each State’s reasonable efforts to provide training of the unorganized militia. Funding the National Guard is the carrot (not a stick) to see to the fulfillment of the founder’s vision of a militia.
        This carrot might allow Congress to reach down to middle-school and elementary-school aged children. E.g., an Eddie Eagle program or cut funding National Guard “canteen” facilities. If a State won’t take care for the discipline of the little-ones then their older brothers and sisters can very well bring their own snacks and sodas to training camp. No four-rules training for 17-year-old males then the State can fund their own National Guardsmen’s salaries.
        Can anyone see a Constitutional impediment to the foregoing (very modest) proposal? If not, with Geoff, I’d like to see the President or Congressman refuse to sign/vote-for such a law. Gradually, Congress could crank-up the prescription of “discipline” to include marksmanship training.

  3. Time to file an appeal in the appellate court. And if that fails,

    “Each federal appellate court has its own procedures for such things as petitions for rehearing-a request to reconsider the decision on direct appeal-and petitions for rehearing en banc-a request that the full court, rather than a panel of three judges, hear the appeal.”

  4. These splits have to come to an end. We have judge Posner in the 7th circuit saying that you have a right to bear arms in case of confrontation and that right is equal or greater outside the home.

    • Posner is perhaps to most vocal jurist against Heller and McDonald, is no fan of 2A, is a huge critic of Scalia but still followed the law. That is remarkable.

  5. These regulations are reasonable and result from the substantial government interest in public safety,

    chip, chip, chip…. those are the sounds of your Constitutional rights being whittled away through the unconstitutional use of the words public safety.

    • Somebody remind me: exactly how much public safety can be found on the streets of New York City? Firearms are no longer used in crimes? Murders and other violent crimes have ended? Cops don’t get shot in the head, execution-style, while sitting in their cruiser?

    • Perfectly said: I have long thought that “safety” would be argued to trump ” rights” and there you have it.

      My personal feeling is that any court that makes a decision like this is corrupted by the very government they serve ie. Who puts them on the bench and signs their checks?

      A perfect example of giving up/infringing on a right for a little security…

  6. Well, not all of us. Just most. Some?

    I’m sure the mayors guard aren’t transporting theirs in their trunks.

    Why aren’t they following these “modest burdens” like the rest of us?

  7. There is a big debate underway between originalists, and judicial activists, I understand, and the latter keep spinning and the progtard echo chamber keeps pushing the narrative.

    It appears the debate has firmed in favor of the originalists in Heller and McDonald, and the first Peruta decision in the 9th based on the historical research cited by Volokh, and others.
    (now under consideration for en banc appeal, and overdue on an answer…)

    Federal judges swear an oath to rule based on law, not personal beliefs, but we would be fools not to believe that politics informs their philosophy, and latter judgement. After all that is why who appoints them is such a big deal, as in Obama “packing the court” 2nd for the upcoming ruling on Obamacare,
    and coincidentally, on DC council appealing Palmer v1 to the 2DC.

    In the end these “rebellious judges” decisoins will be finally settled at SCOTUS, if the lawyering is good, based on step by step decisions building from Heller, McDonald, and Peruta.

    There is also a debate, I understand, and here I ask some lawyer to correct my terminology if I got this wrong, and confirm the basic understanding….

    On what are acceptable standards of “how to” and “what is” rational scrutiny at intermediate levels, and if it applies for 2A rights, for example, on reasonable regulations on carry outside the home. The various splits and 2A cases not taken on cert have relied on three or four ways to set a standard, that don’t coincide, but I believe the most recent said essentially- its a yes/no standard- there is no intermediate- any restriction is an infringement, and unconstitutional.

    I also wonder if that unclear resolution of intermediate scrutiny is part of the reason the pro 2A four havent taken up a case, like Drake, until the rational scrutiny definition or a case to define it, has percolated up enough…

    I believe I read that Justice Kennedy’s interest in that rational scrutiny/intermediate issue, and him being the admin contact for the 9th, where an answer may be forthcoming, one way or another on Peruta/Richards, may have something to do with the desperation of the CA AG Harris to fling anything against the wall to see what sticks, and the sua sponte for en banc by one judge on Peruta, despite the decision to deny based on glaring technical defects for too late intervention, and the “no one to argue it” with CA AG Harris now that Sheriff Gore has wisely declined to defend the 9ths 3 judge panel ruling, reversal, and published law as mandate, that self-defense is good cause for CCW, as any other restriction is unconstitutional.

    There may be signals in the smoke drifting out of the 9th, where something is burning- hopefully one or two liberal judges hair on fire, for not getting their way…the delay possibly giving the minority time to write their dissent…
    AND,

    note the 9th released the stay on Richards appeal to en banc review, so Sheriff Prieto has to step up and walk the walk on his vow “to take it all the way to SCOTUS”…
    and the 9th lifted a stay on Nichols, citing Richards as the trigger to file,
    if something happens there inside the 90 day response time…

    so… we shall see.

    • I am not an attorney. My understanding is that different courts have applied different standards of scrutiny (some have used rational basis, some intermediate scrutiny, and others strict scrutiny). And I understand that there is even a fair amount of inconsistency within the scrutiny levels. It is a huge mess and the U.S. Supreme Court is woefully negligent in cleaning it up.

    • When I was taught ConLaw in law school, it seemed to me that the whole process was a crock–that the judge decided the caswe, and then applied the level of scrutiny necessary to support that determination. The identified level of scrutiny was more often lip service than analysis. This is very much true in the 2A arena. Take for example Woolard, where the trial court concluded that a “may issue” system requiring proof of exceptional need was unconstitutional because recitation of the right was all the need that need be demonstrated. The 4th circuit reversed. It assumed that there was a right to “bear” arms outside the home, and further concluded that the proper level was intermediate scrutiny. Now typically, this level of scrutiny requires the public entity to show a close fit, based on actual evidence,between a restriction on a right and the public policy meant to be served. But the 4th required no such proof–in fact, the State of Maryland produced NONE and there was none in the legislative record either. Nonetheless, the mere recitation of the “public safety” was sufficient to uphold the may issue, entirely discretionary system of issuing concealed weapons permits. To me as an attorney, this was nothing but pure rational basis review dressed up in intermediate scrutiny language. this and other cases have applied an essentially sliding scale intermediate scrutiny based on the seriousness of the public interest involved. It is all a crock, and merely reflects the justices individual political beliefs as to whether the State should have control over firearms in public.

  8. Can I ask where in the Constitution it gives the government permission to restrict everyone’s rights for some perceived “public safety”?

  9. Yep, nothing like another judge tripping over his National-Socialist ideology. He knows damn well that his ruling is a direct violation of the Constitution.

  10. Boycott NYC. What a horrible place. I’m with Ralph on the tenuous nature of the supremes. Look at Roberts & Odumbo care…

  11. Leftist Lexicon:

    Complete ban on guns = “a minimal, or at most, modest burden” on a Constitutional right.

    A minimal, or at most, modest burden on late term abortions = impermissible infringement of a fundamental Constitutional right.

    And so you don’t misunderstand, I favor abortion. So I guess it’s just a matter of whose ox is gored.

    • California: If you want to buy a handgun, you need a drivers licence and another form of government ID such as a lease agreement, property deed, car registration, or other documents that not everyone has. Also, pay a $25 fee to take a “safety test” that expires every five years, yet the questions stay the same.

      California in the same breath: A valid ID to vote!? ERMAGERD YOU FASCISTS!

    • Could we say that, recently, the ideology currently in favor trumps all laws, and the constitution as well? And could we guess where that is going to lead?

  12. Lets just call the demotw@ts and libtards like they are, modern day proslavers and elitist. The use the thin veil of safety added with “for the children” to reenforce their fleeting ideology of “sensible gun laws”. Truth be told they don’t want the modern day serfs being armed and able to stand up to their oppressive taxes and BS laws.

  13. Funny how “modest burden” on a right when it’s the 2A, make sense to them, but if you were to apply “modest burden” to a number other of constitutional rights/amendments, the world would “lose it’s shit”.

    I think they think the 2 in 2A means 2nd class.

  14. You know Judge, a 15% annual fee on your retirement is a “modest burden” on your future standard of living. How about you donate that amount to the various 2nd Amendment rights organizations “for the children” to “balance against society’s interests”.

  15. Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness < Public Safety
    I have lost my Right to Life as I have no recourse of self-defense is someone chooses to attack me.
    I have lost my Liberty of the 2A.
    I have lost my Pursuit of Happiness as I can't fiddle or shoot guns without the overburden of proving I am capable of using said firearm safely and responsibly.
    Luckily, I still have the Right to Public Safety…or wait, that's not a Constitutional right because if it was the gov't would be broke for their incompetent polices and sheriffs not being able to provide such rights as it is impossible to achieve.

    • Actually ChiGurh you do NOT have a right to public safety … multiple court rulings have held that the police have no duty to protect anyone. Their only duty is some nebulous obligation to the public in general. See Castle Rock versus Gonzales among others.

  16. Federal courts are anathema, why should any of us comply with the trash that comes out of them? What happened to the 10 miles square limitation?

    People like this “judge” are destroying this country and oppressing it’s people free of consequence upon a raised dais. Why can’t we start putting people like this “man” on trial for human rights violations and the various other corruptions I’m sure he’s involved in?

    Where does the federal encroachment end, how far will we let it go?

    • I heard it somewhere that the future of humanity at least in the U.S. is a bunch of 40 year old virgins living in our parents basements in footsy pajamas watching TV singing along with the commercial “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener”.

      However since that was said awhile ago switch TV for smartphone and playing Farmville or Angry Birds. Wait that is already happening…..

  17. This sort of affront to 2nd amendment rights and liberty by activist judges is the real threat and part of a strategy by progressive liberal elitist to accomplish nationally through the Federal judiciary what they can never accomplish legislatively.

    Now contrast the burdens and restrictions the citizens of New York are saddled with to simply transport an unloaded secured lawful firearm or possess and have access to a firearm for defensive purposes inside their own home with firearm laws in pro-gun States.

    In Texas we can legally transport and carry loaded immediately accessible handguns, rifles, and shotguns in our vehicle with virtually no restrictions and no licensing requirement. Yet even in a pro-gun State like Texas we have those on the fringe like Kory Watkins and C.J. Grisham playing right into the hands of the anti-gun left and a national liberal media that revels in the opportunity to lump the reasonable, responsible, and lawful gun owner majority in with a radical unhinged minority that just made national news when Watkins threatened murder and insurrection if the Texas Legislature failed to meet demands for his pipe dream of “constitutional carry”.

    Even though there is little chance idiots like Watkins have done permanent damage to the reasonable and permissive gun laws we enjoy in Texas, their actions could well have repercussions nationally by providing a convenient negative stereotype of the menacing crazy gun owner that society must be protected from.

    All supporters of 2nd amendment rights and especially those in Texas should wake up and realize that for the in your face radicals like Watkins, open or “constitutional carry” with no licensing, no restrictions, and anything goes is an all or nothing proposition.

    If Open Carry does somehow manage to become law in Texas, it won’t resemble “constitutional carry” and will simply allow licensed handgun carriers to no longer conceal their handgun, and if that happens you can bet the likes of Watkins or Grisham will pull a stunt by doing or saying something incredibly stupid that the liberal national media will pounce upon, and that the progressive liberal elitists will spin to suit their anti-gun propaganda.

    The point is that defenders of the 2nd amendment and liberty should focus their efforts to make a difference where it counts, not waste time on the unachievable, and ignore the bluster of radicals with their delusions and unrealistic demands, and that includes so called “constitutional carry”.

    • Thank you for your voice of pragmatism. Some of our brothers – PotG – are our worst enemies if feeding the Anti-frenzy.

  18. Ever notice how the people who evoke common sense, are the last ones to have any?

    COMMON SENSE: So rare, it’s a goddamn super power!

  19. Judge Sweet needs removed from the bench for age related dementia. It would be in the best interest of public safety.

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