Supreme Court Dismisses NYC Gun Rights Case; Conservative Justices Dissent

A man holds a Ruger revolver at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., April 27, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a case brought by three New York City handgun owners challenging a city regulation that prohibited gun owners from transporting their firearms outside the city.

The court agreed to hear the case in December, but the city then amended the regulation to allow gun owners to bring firearms to other locations. The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in an unsigned opinion that the case was moot because the city had amended its original regulation.

Conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch wrote in their dissent that the case should not have been dismissed.

“By incorrectly dismissing this case as moot, the Court permits our docket to be manipulated in a way that should not be countenanced,” the justices wrote. Lawyers for the plaintiffs had argued that the case should not be dismissed because the city changed its regulation due to fears that the Supreme Court would use the case to restrict broader gun control measures.

Gun rights advocates had initially hoped the court’s conservative majority would tip the case in their favor.

“I believe it will change the way the Second Amendment is applied to everyone who owns a gun in the country,” Romolo Colantone, a resident of Staten Island and one of the plaintiffs in the case, said in December 2019.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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