Press Release

Giffords Law Center Hails Supreme Court Decision to Deny Consideration of Multiple Second Amendment Cases

June 15, 2020 — Today, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence hailed the US Supreme Court decision to deny consideration of multiple Second Amendment cases it had been holding. The Court’s action means that a number of lifesaving gun safety laws from various states will remain in place. The news comes after the court’s recent decision recognizing as moot a case brought by the New York State affiliate of the National Rifle Association, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York.

Hannah Shearer, Litigation Director, Giffords Law Center: 

“Today provided more proof that gun safety laws are not in conflict with the Second Amendment. The gun lobby has long peddled a false narrative that even the most modest, commonsense gun safety laws infringe on individual rights. That extreme stance is out of step with the American public and the rule of law. In declining to take up legal challenges to these lifesaving laws, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of states to continue fighting for the policies that will reduce violence in America.”

“The laws that now remain intact address a range of important gun safety issues, including restrictions on magazine capacity, licensing, and enhanced tracing technology. No one law can solve America’s gun violence epidemic, but collectively, these laws will drive real progress.”

“While this is an important win for communities across the country grappling with gun violence, advocates for gun safety must remain vigilant against the gun lobby’s repeated attempts to undermine gun safety laws. We will continue to forcefully counter these false arguments aimed at radically undermining laws that can save countless lives.”

Recent Supreme Court Second Amendment Decision:

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York was a case challenging now-repealed New York City regulations limiting the locations to which holders of a “premises license” could transport their handguns both within and outside of the city. Despite the fact that the rules are now repealed, the NRA hoped to use this case to roll back gun safety legislation nationwide. By a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the NRA’s position, instead finding that the case was moot based on New York City’s repeal of the challenged regulations.

The former rule prohibited transporting firearms to gun ranges, shooting competitions, and second homes outside of the city. Restrictions like New York City’s old rule do not exist anywhere else in the United States, nor is there an effort to implement similar regulations anywhere.

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is the New York State affiliate of the NRA.

This case, argued in December 2019 and decided in April 2020, was the first major Second Amendment case to go before the Supreme Court since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010. While the Supreme Court had not heard a major case involving gun rights for nearly a decade, the appellate courts have been very active. They have developed a consistent and effective approach to interpreting the constitutionality of gun-violence-prevention measures, one that protects both rights and public safety. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, the plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to throw out this approach and replace it with a new and extreme Second Amendment test. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling declined the invitation to use a moot case to threaten the legal status of hundreds of lifesaving gun laws across the country.