The National Sheriffs Association (NSA) has not been too keen on defending the right to keep and bear arms. The controversy that goes with the topic of gun control is probably the reason. But finally, and to its credit, the NSA has joined a lawsuit to nullify a regulation that violates the 2nd Amendment. In the state of New York, a new law bans firearms from being transported by those gun owners who are lucky enough to get a very restrictive “premise license”, anywhere outside the home, with the exception of going to or from a shooting range within the city. The NSA and seventeen other law enforcement or gun rights advocacy groups have filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the US Supreme Court, where the case has landed.
The NSA’s brief declares that the rule is clearly unconstitutional. In part, NSA contends:
” New York City already severely restricts the rights of citizens to possess, carry, and transport handguns outside the home. Individuals who possess a premises license constitute less than one-half of one percent of the city’s adult population. The Second Amendment rights of premises licensees are 6 drastically curtailed even further by restricting transport to in-city ranges and limited hunting destinations in New York State. The Rule prevents licensees from transporting their handguns out of the city for practice, training, hunting, shooting competitions, repairs and modifications, appraisal, display at gun collector events, informal recreational shooting, and, most importantly, defense of self and loved ones when traveling outside the city. The Rule’s prohibition on the right to practice, train, and compete out of the city impairs the proficiency necessary for defense with a handgun. Experts recommend frequent training, using realistic scenarios, to acquire and maintain proficiency. Such practice and training, both by law enforcement and civilians, should be performed with the same handgun that will be used for defense. The assumption by the Court of Appeals that proficiency can be maintained by practice and competition outside the city with rented handguns is incorrect and unsupported by any evidence. The public safety interest alleged to support the Rule is non-existent and unproven. There is no proof that premises licensees have ever posed a threat to public safety when transporting their handguns. The NYPD has a system that requires immediate, centralized reporting of any incidents involving a licensee. Yet, even though the License Division has the data regarding incidents, if any, of violence committed by premises licensees while transporting their handguns, the City has not identified a single instance of that occurring. It is also highly implausible that premises 7 licensees would engage in violence when transporting their handguns out of the city. Licensees undergo exceedingly searching inquiries during the application process, and licenses can be refused for even trivial reasons. Accordingly, licensees as a group are likely to be highly law-abiding. Data from other jurisdictions show that concealed carry permit holders in “shall issue” states are extraordinarily lawabiding, much more so than the general public. Data from several large urban areas demonstrate that most murders and non-fatal shootings are committed by individuals who already have a criminal record, and thus are ineligible to receive a license.”
CSPOA supports the petitioners and urges the SCOTUS to shut down the draconian regulation, which has the force of law but has not passed through the people’s elected representatives.