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NYC employs manipulative tactics over gun control law ahead of major SCOTUS case


But is there precedent?

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Over fear that a Supreme Court ruling will inspire nationwide Second Amendment changes, New York City officials are attempting to manipulate a future Supreme Court ruling by amending the law on which the court will rule.

What are the details?

According to the New York Times, the New York City Police Department held an "unusual" public hearing last month. The purpose? To make a Supreme Court case "disappear."

After the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to an existing gun control regulation in the Big Apple, city officials sought to amend the regulation in hopes that it would nullify the court's future decision. Officials reportedly fear the Supreme Court will rule against the city, impacting gun regulations nationwide.

More from The Times:

The regulation allows residents with so‐called premises licenses to take their guns to one of seven shooting ranges in the city. But it prohibits them from taking their guns to second homes and shooting ranges outside the city, even when the guns are unloaded and locked in containers separate from ammunition.

The city's proposed changes, likely to take effect in a month or so, would remove those restrictions.

But before officials could move forward with the amendment they first needed to hold a public hearing. At that hearing, city officials were rebuked for their manipulative tactics.

"This law should not be changed. Not because it is a good law; it is blatantly unconstitutional. No, it should not be changed since this is a clear tactic to try to moot the SCOTUS case that is specifically looking into this law," one woman wrote to the hearing.

"This is a very transparent attempt to move the goal post in the recent Supreme Court case," another man said.

Is there existing precedent?

It is not yet clear if the amendment would render the Supreme Court's future ruling moot, but according to the Times, there is perhaps existing precedent for the situation.

Before the Supreme Court ruled on D.C. v. Heller — perhaps the most important Second Amendment case in U.S. history — the National Rifle Association nearly upended the case, according to lawyer Robert Levy, who led the Heller litigation.

While Levy and his team of lawyers argued the Heller case before federal appeals court, NRA lobbying efforts, which sought to repeal D.C.'s highly restrictive gun law, nearly short-circuited Levy's efforts.

"Repealing D.C.'s ban would have rendered the Heller litigation moot," Levy wrote in a 2008 essay. "After all, no one can challenge a law that no longer exists."

In the end, the NRA relented, paving the way for the landmark decision in 2008 that reaffirmed an individual's right to own firearms.

New York City's case will be heard before the Supreme Court this fall.

(H/T: Hot Air)

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