December 31, 2020
As Renzulli Law Firm reported, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) previously challenged New York City’s restriction on traveling with firearms outside of New York City. Although the Supreme Court accepted the case for review, New York City removed its restrictions before the case was heard by the Court. The Court ultimately declined to decide the Second Amendment issue on its merits because it was deemed to be moot as New York City removed its restrictions. With 2021 approaching, the Court is presented with a chance to decide a new Second Amendment issue arising from New York.
Due to the overwhelming denials of handgun licenses in New York, NYSRPA is challenging the constitutionality of New York’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home without a special showing of a “proper cause.” NYSRPA filed a lawsuit in 2018, which was dismissed by the district court and affirmed by the appellate court. On December 17, 2020, however, NYSRPA filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court challenging the “proper cause requirement” on the grounds that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun outside the home.
In New York, firearm licenses are issued by “licensing officers,” which are judges or law enforcement officers. In order to carry a firearm in New York, without regard to employment or place of possession, “proper cause” must exist for the issuance of a license. New York law does not define “proper cause” but instead gives broad discretion to licensing officers. Generally, courts in New York have ruled that “an applicant seeking a license to carry a handgun for self-defense must demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.”
In order for the Court to hear the case, four out of the nine justices must vote to accept the case.
Renzulli Law Firm will continue to monitor the status of the Court’s decision.
ATF WITHDRAWS STABILIZING BRACE NOTICE
We previously reported that the ATF published a Notice in the Federal Register and invited comments regarding “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces.”’ On December 23, however, the ATF posted a document to its website indicating that this Notice is now withdrawn. The ATF has also commented that “the withdrawal of the guidance does not change any law, regulation or other legally binding requirement.”
We will continue to follow for further developments concerning stabilizing braces.
COMMENTS ON INDUSTRY BANKING DISCRIMINATION
The Office of the Comptroller of Currency proposed a Rule to ensure fair access to banking services by industries, including the firearms and ammunition industries. The deadline for comments concerning the Rule is on January 4, 2021. The Rule would provide protection to industry members from discrimination at the hands of banks and other financial institutions. To comment on the Rule, you can go to Regulations.gov.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP wishes everyone a Happy New Year.