Gun Laws & Legislation

New York City Changes Firearms Transport Policy Before SCOTUS Review


Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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New York City decided to change a portion of its gun laws related to the transport of firearms just a few months after the Supreme Court decided to review a lawsuit scrutinizing the city’s gun control laws.

Licensed gun owners in New York City will soon be able to legally transport their firearm to a second home, business or any other place gun possession is permitted as a result of a rules change the NYPD announced Friday, The New York Daily News reported.

The changes are expected to go into place following a 30-day public comment period starting next week. Currently, permitted gun owners in New York City can only carry their guns to approved firing ranges or areas where hunting is allowed.  The city’s firearm policy change is expected to affect 16,000 licensed gun owners and only residents who live within the city limits.

The firearm must be unloaded when being transported and the ammunition is required to be carried separately. Those mandates will not change.

Gun rights activists celebrate the news from US Supreme Court June 26, 2008 that Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms, ending a ban on owning handguns in Washington, DC in its first ruling on gun rights in 70 years. AFP PHOTO / TIM SLOAN / Getty Images

“This change applies only to legal gun owners who have already gone through a strenuous background verification process,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said. “The NYPD’s focus will always be on criminals who wield illegal guns, and those who would use guns to cause violence on our streets. Reasonably accommodating the interests of licensed gun owners in transporting their firearms to a legal shooting range or second home strikes a responsible balance between individual interests and public safety.”

The rule change comes amid an NRA-ILA backed lawsuit filed by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. against the City of New York related to the city’s gun transport laws that the Supreme Court decided to review last January. (RELATED: Supreme Court To Review New York City Gun Control Law)

 Despite the planned rule change before the case is argued, the NRA called the city’s effort a desperate attempt to get the case dismissed by the high court.

“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years,” the NRA said in a statement.

“Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process — the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment,” it added, before continuing:

That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect. This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. The City of New York did not respect its citizens’ Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward. We are confident that the Court will reject New York’s desperate attempt to avoid review of its blatantly unconstitutional laws.

The state of New York lost in court over its ban on stun guns and tasers last month when a federal judge ruled that the state’s prohibition of the devices by “all citizens for all purposes, even for self-defense in one’s own home, must be declared unconstitutional.” (RELATED: New York Man Gets State Stun Gun Ban Overturned Based On His Second Amendment Rights)

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Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125