Thursday, November 07, 2019

Winter 2019/2020 SCOTUS in the Classroom Case

We are excited to announce our Winter SCOTUS in the Classroom case: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York. The case involves a New York City near-ban on the transportation of handguns. It will be argued on December 2, 2019.

The issue in this case is: Does the New York City law banning the transportation of a licensed handgun to a home or shooting range outside New York City limits violate the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, or the constitutional right to travel?

Street Law will post case materials as they become available on the SCOTUS in the Classroom program page. Teachers and students are encouraged to hold moot courts (or mini-moot courts) of the case the same week that the Supreme Court hears arguments, giving students the opportunity to follow discussion and analysis in the news and listen to or read a transcript of the actual oral arguments at the Court. You can find instructions and handouts for conducting a moot court at SCOTUS in the Classroom.

Case Background

In the state of New York, residents are not permitted to own and possess a handgun in their home without a license, and New York City law places several limits on where residents may take the gun. At the time the case was brought, a rule was in place that stated New York City residents must keep the gun inside their home at all times unless they are traveling to two specified locations: an authorized shooting range or a designated hunting area.

The petitioners in this case are licensed handgun owners who used to participate in New York state shooting competitions outside of New York City. Out of fear of breaking the law, they stopped attending these competitions. One petitioner also wants to transport his gun to his second home in upstate New York. They sued New York City arguing that the ban on transporting guns violated several constitutional provisions, including the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the right to travel. They are joined by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.

Six months after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, New York City revised the rule so that licensed gun owners could transport their weapons directly to and from shooting ranges or homes outside of the city. The Court will also consider whether the changed rule renders the issue moot (no longer in need of a decision).

Learn more about Street Law's SCOTUS in the Classroom resources.

SCOTUS in the Classroom is made possible by the support of the Supreme Court Historical Society