Today I am going to try doing what nobody has yet to do, namely, to explain in clear, readable and understandable English what the New York City gun-control law that was remanded by the Supremes back to a lower court is really all about. The law, was challenged by the NRA as a violation of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ The issue became moot because following the NRA’s legal action, da city took the law off its books. Nevertheless, four SCOTUS justices still want the courts to decide whether federal and state courts are applying the 2nd Amendment correctly in cases involving guns. So the issue is dead but it ain’t really dead.
Here’s how the law used to work. In New York City, the good people are protected from gun violence by the Sullivan Law, which was passed in 1911. If you want to buy, own and keep a gun in your New York City residence, you apply to the NYPD for a gun license which is issued after a background check. Once the license is issued, the individual then applies for a permit to purchase a specific gun, or what is known as a PTP (permit-to-purchase.) You then take this permit to the gun shop, purchase the gun and bring it down to the NYPD licensing division to be tested and approved. After all, the cops don’t want you to own just any old gun. It has to be a gun that meets their standards for ownership, whatever those standards happen to be.
Back in the 1980’s, the NYPD in their wisdom decided that nobody in da city could own a Glock? Why? Because it was a ‘plastic’ gun and therefore could be brought into a courtroom or some other secure spot. Today, most of the current members of the NYPD carry Glocks.
The premise gun license, as it is called, allows the gun owner to transport his gun in a locked container to a shooting range, as long as the range is located within the city itself. Here was the crazy part of the law. If you wanted to leave the city, let’s say because you had a beach house on Long Island or a summer place upstate, you couldn’t take the gun with you because you were going somewhere in the city other than to a shooting range. Which means you were going around New York City with a concealed gun.
Conversely, if you applied and received a gun license in any county other than the five counties that comprise the City of New York, you couldn’t bring your gun into da city unless you had a concealed-carry permit issued by NYPD. How did you get the CCW license from NYPD?You got one if your name was Donald Trump.
What are the odds that the Supremes will decide to vacate any state or local law which imposes specific regulations for walking around with a gun? Isn’t that what Gun-nut Nation wants more than anything else – national concealed-carry without any specific licensing at all?
To effect such an action, the conservative Supreme Court justices, all of whom were vetted and approved by the Federalist Society, would have to stand Federalism on its head. Note what Scalia said in the 2008 Heller opinion: “There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.” He then goes on to say that each jurisdiction can decide for itself how to define and regulate the words ‘keep’ and ‘bear.’
Here’s the point. By allowing New York residents to take a gun from their city apartment out to a house at the beach would still require the journey to be made with the gun locked away and out of reach. That’s not what Gun-nut Nation wants. What they want is somehow get around da city’s very restrictive rules on carry-concealed. And that will happen around the same time that da city will stop charging me $14 dollars to drive over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Or maybe now it’s $18 bucks.