by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The U.S. Supreme Court will start its next term after a summer punctuated by mass shootings that left more than two dozen dead, heightening the impact of pending cases that focus on when civilians can carry weapons in public.
The most immediate matter involves a New York City ordinance that placed severe limitations on transporting handguns that are locked and unloaded. The high court agreed in January to take up the dispute between three residents and the city government, marking the first time since 2010 — when it struck down Chicago’s handgun ban — the Supreme Court would hear a Second Amendment case.
The measure permits a handgun owner with a so-called “premises license” to take the firearm to one of seven shooting ranges located within the city, but forbids carrying it beyond the five boroughs, even to second homes or ranges.
The premise-license holders who live in New York City and the New York Rifle and Pistol Association challenged the ordinance, arguing it violates the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause. …
… The justices have not yet said whether they will still hear the challenge, and they’re scheduled to discuss the matter at a conference Oct. 1.
Any break a dismissal gave the court from weighing in on gun rights, which have been a subject of impassioned national debate following back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, would be temporary at best. A number of other cases touch on the same portion of the Constitution.
A New Jersey matter, for instance, involves a requirement that people seeking a permit to carry guns outside the home demonstrate a “justifiable need.”