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Brady Responds to Upcoming SCOTUS Hearing on New York State Rifle: “Life or Death”

Washington, D.C., January 22, 2019 - For the first time since 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it would hear a Second Amendment case challenging a New York City gun licensing law. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York challenges a city ordinance governing transportation of firearms. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence expressed strong support for the importance of allowing local cities and communities to promote public safety and protect against gun violence.

Jonathan Lowy, VP of Litigation at the Brady Center, stated,

“The stakes for this case are nothing less than life and death. The Supreme Court may now decide whether Americans are allowed to enact the strong, commonsense public safety laws they want and need to protect their families and communities from gun violence, or if judges will take those decisions away from them. The Framers put ‘well-regulated’ in the Second Amendment and ‘the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence for good reason. We will fight for the rights of New Yorkers, and all Americans, to make sure the Supreme Court doesn’t write the gun lobby’s guns-everywhere vision into our Constitution. We will make sure the voices of Americans who want stronger gun regulation, not less, are heard and heard loudly in the Supreme Court.”

Kris Brown, president of the Brady Center, added,

“When Justice Kavanaugh was first appointed to the Supreme Court, we feared that we would immediately see challenges to commonsense gun safety laws reach the highest court in the land. It appears our fears are coming true. Just as we have done for more than 30 years, we at Brady are committed to defending laws that act in the public interest to keep Americans safe from gun violence. Gun safety laws in our country will no doubt continue to see challenge after challenge in court, so let it be known - we will be there every time to defend them, and we are ready for this fight.”

The challenged New York ordinance restricts the ability of certain residents holding residential “premises” handgun licenses to transport their handguns beyond New York City limits. Several permit holders challenged the law, claiming that they have an absolute Second Amendment right to transport their guns to locations outside the city, without obtaining a “carry” license. The case marks the second Second Amendment case the high court has taken since it first announced an individual right to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense purposes in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller. The Supreme Court has never held that Second Amendment rights apply outside the home.

The Brady Center has led the legal fight for gun safety for more than 30 years, working with public officials to defend gun laws under attack and challenging laws and regulations that worsen the issue of gun violence. Brady has won precedent-setting victories in high-level and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, and has filed briefs or provided legal advice in hundreds of cases across the country. The organization’s efforts have resulted in landmark precedents, leading to extremist laws being struck down and common-sense legislation being upheld.

Following the 10th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Brady Center released a report examining the impact of the case and noting that, despite what the gun lobby has promoted, the ruling leaves in place clear, constitutional, and common-sense gun safety laws. That report can be found here.

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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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