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Brady Applauds Supreme Court Dismissing Gun Safety Law Challenge in First Major Second Amendment Case in a Decade

Washington, D.C., April 27, 2020 – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc et al. v. City of New York, finding that this case is moot as the regulation in question has been repealed and does not exist anywhere else in the United States.

Brady applauds this ruling.

Brady submitted an amicus curiae brief in this case arguing that the case should be dismissed as moot. The Court agreed. Brady also argued that “the Court should reaffirm the longstanding and broad power of the People, through the organs of self-government, to adopt reasonable measures to protect public safety and to safeguard the most precious right of all—the right to live.” The Court did not reject or affirm that statement.

The Plaintiffs in this case asked the Court to embrace a sweeping, new interpretation of the Second Amendment that could undermine nearly every gun safety law across the country. The American people overwhelmingly support common-sense gun violence prevention laws. Today’s opinion upholds decades of precedent in interpreting the Second Amendment and protects the people’s rights to enact laws to prevent gun violence.
Brady President Kris Brown explained:

“We applaud the Supreme Court for rejecting the gun lobby’s call to use this moot challenge to a defunct ordinance as an opportunity to radically expand the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment can and should allow for strong, effective gun violence prevention laws. Today, Americans still have the right to enact the public safety gun laws they want and need to protect their communities. That’s good policy, good law, and a victory for the American people.

The issue at the heart of this case was already resolved and the plaintiffs had already received everything they had demanded and more. Recognizing this, the court’s decision that there is no case here is common-sense. This case was moot in December. That the court recognizes this too merely underscores the desperation of the NRA and their allies to use this issue to advance a radical reinterpretation of the Second Amendment.

That interpretation would have undermined decades of public safety laws regulating firearms, rolling back laws requiring background checks on gun sales, laws denying criminals, domestic abusers and others at a high risk of violence access to guns, and laws modulating who can carry guns in public and in which spaces they are permitted to do so.

In short, laws that overwhelming and bipartisan majorities of Americans support and have enacted to keep our communities safe.

We remain concerned that a number of Justices appear to have an appetite to expand gun rights at the risk of Americans’ rights to enact the gun laws they want and need. Brady remains determined and vigilant in our fight for Americans’ right to live, and self-determination on public safety issues, a fight which is far from over.”

About the Case:

At issue in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc et al. v. City of New York, is a now-repealed New York City regulation that does not exist anywhere else in the United States. That regulation limited locations to which holders of a “premises license” could transport firearms.

Plaintiffs in the case filed suit against New York City in 2013 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In 2015, the District Court dismissed their claims, issuing summary judgment for the City.

The Second Circuit affirmed that judgment in 2018, maintaining that the regulations served promoted public safety, an important governmental interest, and did not substantially burden plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights to possess a firearm for self-defense purposes and

Arguments in the case were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, December 2, 2019.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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