September 11, 2020

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, New York

New York City’s (City) handgun licensing law permits license holders to possess a handgun only in their homes or to one of the seven shooting ranges within the City. As a result, license holders cannot transport their handguns to shooting ranges, shooting competitions, or their second homes outside of the City.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. But the Court has not explained the specific scope of the Second Amendment or set the standards by which the lower courts should judge the constitutionality of gun regulations. When this case went before the Second Circuit on appeal, New York City’s licensing rule was determined to be lawful. The Second Circuit applied a two-part test that is now used in other federal circuit court of appeals throughout the country. This case asks the Supreme Court to determine whether that two-part test is the correct approach to gun regulations and, if so, whether the City’s licensing rule satisfies it.

Issue before the Court:

Does a New York City law which bans the transportation of a licensed, locked, and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits, violate the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the constitutional right to travel?

Classroom Case Study>>>

This classroom case study provides:

  • background on the legal issues in the case;
  • facts of the case;
  • key legal definitions;
  • argument summaries for the petitioner and respondent; and
  • focus questions for fostering classroom discussion

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The classroom case study was modified from PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases. It can be used for teacher reference and provides a more detailed look at the case.

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