Five Gun Rights Cases to Watch

What the courts still have to decide about the Second Amendment

(Page 4 of 4)

The Second Circuit in Osterweil asked the New York State Court of Appeals whether it considers "an applicant who owns a part-time residence in New York but makes his permanent domicile elsewhere eligible for a New York handgun license in the city or county where his part-time residence is located?" In October, that state appeals court said someone would indeed be eligible for a weapons license in his or her part-time residence in New York.

A sensible decision. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York should follow the spirit of that reasoning and apply it to this case. In doing so, it should overturn Title 38, recognizing that permission to use a legally owned gun should not be restricted to specific domiciles or to the borders of a certain city.

The prohibitions being challenged in all five of these cases infringe on individual freedom while likely failing to prevent any harm. They represent lawmaker prejudice against weapons and their owners, not the reasoned pursuit of an actual civic good.

Most Americans understand that these sorts of laws are pointless. That's why, despite a recent string of tragic news stories about people using weapons to injure or kill, 63 percent of respondents in a December Reason/Rupe poll recognized that tougher laws aren't going to effectively prevent criminals from accessing weapons. Governments on all levels should take the hint: Stop wasting their time, and our money, trying to defend these pointless provisions in court. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Dr Fallout||

    When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power... like God must feel when he's holding a gun.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    "But Marge, a gun is a tool. Like a butcher knife or a harpoon, or uhh... an alligator."

    Of course, this message is brought to you by a guy who bought another 5,000 rounds of ammo Saturday.

  • JD the elder||

    "there's only one shooting range within city limits"

    Nitpicky, but: that's not true. There's the Westside Rifle & Pistol Range, and there's the Bay Ridge Rod & Gun Club. I hear that BRR&GC; is extremely unfriendly to outsiders, so it may not be a practical option.

  • Drake||

    Nitpicky too - I don't remember the "within city limits" clause in the Constitution. I do remember something about right to assemble and "shall not be infringed".

  • sarcasmic||

    I must say I do like living somewhere where I can toss an empty soup can out into the backyard and perforate it, pretty much whenever I want. Though I generally limit myself to Saturday afternoons.

  • Paul.||

    . Another plaintiff is a sheriff's deputy who according to the state magically loses his ability to safely use a gun in public when he goes off duty.

    Hard... to... agree... with this...

  • Will Nonya||

    It does assume that they use guns safely while on duty.

  • Paul.||

    Jesus the fucking squirrels.

    New York City has on the books Title 38, which prohibits licensed handgun owners from taking guns almost anywhere outside of city limits. You cannot take your gun to your second home outside the city


  • Scarecrow Repair||

    NYC is so concerned for the welfare of foreigners that it forbids its subjects from taking their guns outside the city limits.

    It's only confusing because it's so bizarre.

  • gimmeasammich||

    The Supreme Court is expected to hold a hearing on whether to take on NRA v. BATFE in late February.

    How long ago was this article written, and why has it not been updated?

    SC denied petition for writ of certiorari like three weeks ago.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    "April 2014 issue" says the fine print.

  • gimmeasammich||

    The Supreme Court is expected to hold a hearing on whether to take on NRA v. BATFE in late February.

    How long ago was this article written, and why has it not been updated?

    SC denied petition for writ of certiorari like three weeks ago.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Not really sure why this came up twice. I clicked submit and the page refreshed, but my comment was still sitting in the comment box, so I clicked submit again. Whatevs...

  • GregMax||

    Statism: "The Second Amendment right is not unlimited," Justice Antonin Scalia cautioned in the majority opinion in Heller. "It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

    Who fuckin' asked you? My rights do not flow from government. Therefore government can not (explicitly included)infringe on those rights. The only conclusion that's rational is that the Supreme Court is a CABAL of statists who may have the power to impose their beliefs but not the authority. Meanwhile somewhere in the Crimea . . .

  • uhclem||

    Madison said that..."a declaration of essential rights was both unnecessary and potentially pernicious. It was unnecessary, he explained, because the Constitution delegated only limited authority to the new central government, whose lawful powers did not extend into the areas that were conventionally protected by a bill of rights. And adding one could prove a danger, he believed, because an effort to enumerate essential rights could not be safe unless it was complete. Any list of rights might inadvertently omit a vital claim, and its omission could become the ground for an insistence that the government could act on matters that were never meant to be included in its province. Madison was more worried about the tyranny of the majority than the tyranny of government. "

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    OMG, citing the words of the guy who wrote the Constitution (but not the Bill of Rights IIRC) is just a radical, in-your-face insult to our governing betters.

    Well Done!

  • Liftertarian||

    Why are these new laws (such as restricting magazine capacity, 'assault weapon' registration) not unlawful due to ex post facto reasons?

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Because....Shut Up!

  • ||

    We should judicially ban the GENERAL practice here: something irritates some people; they complain; a law affecting everyone but doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to affect the thing(s) being complained of it passed, so that the folks elected by the people to represent them can PRETEND that they are doing something in response to their constituencies.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Can't wait until they get to paw through Peruta and the other decisions wending their way to them from CA. Who knows, we might find out that two identical handguns (except for the color of their finish) do not need to be separately submitted for testing to determine if they are not Un-Safe?


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.