New York State Rifle & Pistol v City of New York
courtesy NYSRPA
Previous Post
Next Post

As you probably know, the Supreme Court agreed to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. City of New York earlier this year. That case has the potential to be a landmark decision for gun rights on the order of (or possibly exceeding) Heller and McDonald.

Those who read the legal tea leaves on the anti-gun side have recognized the potential for the case to re-write (read: strike down) gun control laws across the country and it has them in a quiet state of panic. So much so, in fact, that the city of New York put the wheels in motion to change the law that’s at issue in the case.

This was an undisguised, cynical attempt to short-circuit a potential (likely?) adverse ruling by rendering the case moot. Attorneys for the city filed a motion with the court to postpone the proceedings in the case while the city tries to smother it in its sleep.

The good news is, no matter what the city does, there are exceptions to the mootness doctrine available to the Justices that allow them to hear the case even if the underlying law has changed. And such brazen attempts to sidestep a ruling the respondent wants to avoid tends to anger the nine robed ones.

Today, the Court denied the city’s motion for a stay. As attorney LKB tells us,

The motion they filed was exceptionally weak sauce.In theory, if New York City actually eliminates the regulation/ordinance at issue, then they could move to have the writ dismissed as moot.(That will probably be their next move.). The Court will likely deny that motion, and indicate that mootness will be addressed by the opinion.

As in their final opinion once the case is heard and a ruling is handed down. This is very good news. Continue to watch this space.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Fingers crossed. Love or hate the #orangemanbad he’s loading the fed courts with fairly conservative judges. He needs a second term to finish the job.

    • I long for the day I can purchase standard modern firearms but some cheeky bastard did figure out how to produce a NY legal AR pistol (fixed mag) so that is now an option to give a lot of political figures fits up here.

        • At the moment it is largely frankin guns made from finished (serialized factory) lowers built to order in store (at least on route 9 guns inc. Still need the pistol license and all the normal hassle but for a fixed magazine pistol it is just compliant enough to work.

        • Literally anyone can make a NY legal AR or AR pistol with all of the evil features.

          PIN THE MAGAZINE – Allstar Tactical makes the “safemod” which pins the mag.

          From there, you load it through the ejection port with a Bear Flag Defense or Mean Arms speed loader – sort of like a reusable plastic stripper clip.

        • Raptor yes anyone “can” make a pistol that is NY legal but you still need to register it on your license for it to be more legal than a home built full auto supressed sbr in this state (yes even just to own)

    • Hopefully Ginsburg is meeting up with Judas, Brutus, and Cassius before the end of the year so Trump can appoint Amy Barrett without having to wait for the election.

        • No, by the looks of it, she will easily make it to 2020. Trump needs to win re-election and Republicans need to maintain control at least until 2024 if we want any hope of replacing RBG with a a constitutional originalist.

          We really need Trump to win in 2020. Two major SCOTUS justices on the progressive side are over 80 now and could easily be replace by 2024. Our only goal right now should be to get a 7-2 conservative court. It would basically ensure that we have a good court for the rest of our lives baring some progressive court expansion scheme.

  2. This is not good news. It’s not as bad as the Hughes amendment passing on a voice vote. So far, the only people benefiting in this matter are the lawyers. None of our lives or property are safe as long as the legislature is in session…-30-

    • What does anything you mentioned have to do with cert being granted and a delay for weasely purposes denied?

        • After a laugh at that your screen name got me curious about whether 50 bmg is commie bloc(ed) in NY. Turns out so long as it is safe act compliant on any semi version it’s good to go and I am more than a little happily confused.

  3. Sounds to me that SCOTUS sees an important element in the law that needs to be addressed. Too many laws have been used to dilute the meaning of 2A, and they intend to get us all back on track.

    • Very much the desired outcome even if it would only influence future laws. Still hoping that some of our madness will get neutered and a more stringent review on infringement of civil rights (all of them) applied.

      • I believe that conclusion is incorrect. Several groups in NJ are gearing up to challenge existing laws after the (anticipated) positive ruling on this case and then the court would have to apply strict scrutiny to these laws. A favorable ruling by SCOTUS opens the door to strike down many of the laws that severely infringe the 2A.

        • There is the way things should work (exactly what you mentioned) and then there are the way things work up here until we get dragged kicking screaming and crying racism into liberty. Can’t wait for the theatrics of either but FML on the future tax hike to pay the legal stuff

      • Depending on the outcome of this case, it could also apply to existing laws. Many gun control laws were declared constitution in lower courts because the courts deemed it not necessary to review the laws via strict scrutiny.

        If this SCOTUS establishes that all gun cases need to be reviewed via strict scrutiny, you are going to see a lot of gun control laws go back to court for retrial and then fall by the wayside.

        Basically, save up your money because if strict scrutiny gets passes, SAF is going to need a boatload of money to fund all the court cases that will be available for retrial.

  4. “And such brazen attempts to sidestep a ruling the respondent wants to avoid tends to anger the nine robed ones.”

    After Reno’s end-run on the GFSZA that was essentially changing wording to be “technically correct but mean the same as before because we can simply define our authority elsewhere” I don’t imagine the SCOTUS will be amused by a mootness argument.

    • Not at all accurate. The original law was held to be unconstitutional because it did not state the jurisdictional basis for the law. CONGRESS, not Janet Reno, passed an amended statute that dealt wit that issue, and the PRESIDENT signed it into law. AFAIK, no one has challenged the law subsequently.

      • Reno’s the one who told Congress how to “amend” the law, in a way that isn’t really “amending” it at all, by editing 18 U.S.C. § 922(q) to state that “only a gun that was part of interstate commerce” was affected, by which they mean all guns because all guns are considered interstate commerce under the current (and then) interpretation of the Commerce Clause. The wording of the law changed but the effect did not change one iota.

        Maybe Reno didn’t “make the touchdown” but she threw the pass to the receiver. And such an edit of the law was pure bullshit that is simply an end-run around the ruling the SCOTUS handed down.

        No, it hasn’t been challenged since. But then the Feds haven’t brought too many people up on charges under that law either. The total number of convictions is like seven or eight the past 20+ years with two or three being overturned in the same time period.

        Either way, my OP was actually pretty accurate, because without Reno’s advice Congress wouldn’t have rewritten 922(q) in a way that “changed” things to exactly what they had been before but with slightly slightly modified definition that is operationally identical.

      • I read this and from what I can tell, no matter what the U.S. Code says, it is constitutional.

        Held: The Act exceeds Congress’ Commerce Clause authority. First, although this Court has upheld a wide variety of congressional Acts regulating intrastate economic activity that substantially affected interstate commerce, the possession of a gun in a local school zone is in no sense an economic activity that might, through repetition elsewhere, have such a substantial effect on interstate commerce.
        I believe I read in the opinion years ago that Congress has no authority creating gun free zones at schools.

        • I would agree that it’s unconstitutional but when they make a change like this to say “OK, only guns that fall under interstate commerce can be regulated under the Commerce Clause” and then apply a Wickard interpretation of the Commerce Clause then the outcome is the same and until we get the SCOTUS to say otherwise they get to play that game. And there’s no reason they should have thought they’d lose in 1995 since that is literally the first time the government’s authority under the CC had been successfully challenged since 1942.

          This is why I say that a Court that will restrict the Commerce Clause to a 1941 or earlier interpretation is very important: because then we wouldn’t be having this argument in the first place.

  5. If this falls out in favor of the pro gun people, there is only one person to thank for that ,,, The President of the United States, Mr. Donald J. Trump…🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 M A G A…!!!

  6. A recommendation for NYC & NY State: Enact Constitutional carry and the SCOTUS might let you off the hook.

    A strict scrutiny ruling in this case would result in Constitutional carry anyway (after a other decade of litigation).

  7. This is a sign that the ruling is going to go against the City and you might be surprised that it won’t be a 5-4 decision. The law is a blatant attempt to apply NYC law outside of its jurisdiction. Once a firearm leaved NYC its law do not apply. A law the prohibits legal firearms owners from taking their firearms to a jurisdiction outside the State, which this ordinance does, violates the Interstate Commerce Clause and State Sovereignty.

    • I’m not seeing a direct Commerce Clause violation under any interpretation that’s been used by the SCOTUS but the jurisdictional issues are glaring.

      I’d say that the law as written also has some serious flaws in regards to the 1A (freedom of association and the freedom of expression as the SCOTUS has linked those to travel), 2A, and 10A as well as “freedom of movement” as established in Crandall v. Nevada (1868) which found that that freedom to travel was fundamental.

      However, if it’s a violation of the right to travel then, it could be argued that it is then subject to the Commerce Clause as well which was a concurring opinion to the majority finding in Crandall. That seems superfluous to me though, since if travel is a right and bearing arms is a right then there is nothing logically that says one impedes the other and the Commerce Clause argument, while maybe technically correct, never gets a chance to apply because the state government doesn’t have the authority to restrict movement in this manner in the first place. Still, maybe a nice arrow to have in the quiver if you were in a court within the 9th…

      It could also be argued that the logic behind McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) applies here, that the citizen has 2A rights, that it’s the implied duty of the Federal Government to see that those rights are not infringed upon, and therefore doing so is within FedGov’s implied powers under the Necessary and Proper Clause which the state of NY and city of NYC cannot interfere with because of the Supremacy Clause.

      • strych9,

        New York City’s law (which forbids transport of firearms out of the city) also violates existing federal law (Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986) — yet another reason to strike-down New York City’s law under the Supremacy clause.

        • That’s a good point.

          That gives you a couple options I would say. You could argue that FOPA falls under their “necessary and proper” powers because the FOPA is just the vehicle by which they enforce the states not trampling on the incorporated 2A rights of all Americans.

          Of course, if convenient, you can have the arguments as parallels where even if the court rejects the “necessary and proper duty to protect” a citizen’s 2A rights the City still loses because it has no authority to go directly against the FOPA which could be argued to be a “compelling government interest” in the protection of lawful commerce from which the government derives revenue and promotes national defense. A similar argument, sans the “we need a defense industry” part, works for cities and municipalities in eminent domain cases where they want to build a mall that increases revenue over the current tax base of houses. Far weaker arguments have prevailed on this front.

  8. here’s hoping that the supreme court doesn’t make a favorable decision but based on a secondary factor (such as the possibilities discussed above pertaining to interstate commerce, or state sovereignty, or FOPA).

    i hope that the supreme court makes a favorable decision that goes to the core of the constitutionally recognized right to keep and bear arms and sets a very high level of scrutiny for all gun laws.

    otherwise, we are right back into the current obscene situation in which states and cities will find ways to bypass and obstruct 2A which have to be individually litigated. the current situation has radically different interpretations of a constitutional right between the various states: for example, exercising the right to bear arms in Virginia becomes a freakin’ felony just by driving across the Potomac into Maryland.

    IANAL, but would like to hear from some lawyers on this.


    hey NYC, your dumb children’s games will not be put up with by this supreme court.


    Wow, am I loving this!!!!

    • Almost makes me want to put a bet on NY getting effectively constitutional carry before Texas but I suck at gambling and wouldn’t want to jinx the process.

  10. Yeah Eff NYC and for that matter NYS,if the dislike for the Constitution is that great,they could try to succeed from the union. Every one should know how well that went last time around.

  11. As long as Roberts in still Chief Justice I’ll hold my breath. I think this case is a good one and I pray NY gets our long overdue relief to the abusive gubmint regulatory schemes we live with here.
    If President Trump had 1 more Justice seated I’d feel better. Maybe this one will push RBG over the edge once and for all.

  12. Hand the peckerheads of City of New York their peckers on a wooden cutting board, with side dishes of pickle relish, mustard and ketchup.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here