Law School Case Brief
N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n v. City of N.Y. - 883 F.3d 45 (2d Cir. 2018)
Heightened scrutiny is triggered only by those restrictions that operate as a substantial burden on the ability of law-abiding citizens to possess and use a firearm for self-defense (or for other lawful purposes). The scope of the legislative restriction and the availability of alternatives factor into the analysis of the degree to which the challenged law burdens the right. Even where heightened scrutiny is triggered by a substantial burden, however, strict scrutiny may not be required if that burden does not constrain the Amendment's core area of protection.
Plaintiffs, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Associaiton, brought suit against Defendants City of New York and New York Police Department-License Division, challenging a provision of a New York City licensing scheme under which an individual with a "premises license" for a handgun may remove the handgun from the designated premises only for specified purposes, including going to a shooting range in New York City. Plaintiffs sought to remove licensed handguns from their licensed premises for other purposes, including going to shooting ranges outside New York City and transporting the handgun to a second home in upstate New York. The district court entered judgment against the plaintiffs.
Does the restriction in premises licenses violate the US Constitution and the Commerce Clause?
The court held that the licensing scheme did not violate the Second Amendment because it did nothing to limit the lawful use of firearms by law-abiding citizens in defense of hearth and home and imposed no direct restriction on the right to obtain a handgun and maintain it at their residences for self-protection. The court also held that the rule did not facially discriminate against interstate commerce, nor was there evidence of discriminatory effect on commerce or a significant impact on travel
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