The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on a now-repealed New York City handgun ordinance – the first major gun rights case the High Court has taken up since 2010.
The court agreed in January to hear a challenge to a ban that prevented licensed owners from taking their locked and loaded handguns outside the city’s limits.
The city removed the restrictions in July but the court agreed to proceed with the arguments anyway, raising the possibility that the 5-4 conservative majority on the court could expand gun rights for the first time in nearly a decade.
The justices said they would take into consideration the city’s contention that the matter has been rendered moot by the regulation change.
“There is no case or controversy because New York City has repealed the ordinance and the New York State Legislature has acted to make sure it remains repealed,” Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel and vice president of the gun control group Brady’s legal action project, told the Associated Press.
The law was challenged by the state chapter of the National Rifle Association and several gun owners in the state.
Paul Clement, who represents the NRA and the gun owners, told the AP in an email that it’s clear “the City still views firearm ownership as a privilege and not a fundamental right and is still in the business of limiting transport and denying licenses for a host of discretionary reasons.”
Gun-control advocates fear the court could use the now-repealed ordinance to weaken firearms restrictions passed by other states, including those limiting people’s ability to carry guns in public and legislation expanding background checks and confiscation of weapons from citizens that courts have ruled dangerous.
The Trump administration, 25 mainly Republican states and 120 members of the US House of Representatives have backed the gun owners.
With Post wires