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The U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear First Second Amendment Case in a Decade

January 23, 2019 Criminal Law and Procedure

The U.S. Supreme Court has not heard a Second Amendment gun rights case since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008. The Court has now signaled they will a case which challenges a New York City ordinance which limits the ability of residents to carry guns within city limits. The Supreme Court has declined to hear many lower court appeals on gun rights cases since Heller.

What Does the Ordinance Say?

New York has a gun license called a premises license. The license allows residence to take firearms only to seven shooting ranges within the city. The ordinance forbids taking a firearm anywhere else. This would include places such as second homes or to shooting ranges outside of city limits.

Arguments For and Against

The challengers to the ordinance argue the restriction is the most stringent in the nation. The ordinance does not allow gun owners to take firearms to a variety of places.

The City of New York justified the law on the grounds of public safety Police cited instances of abusing the carrying law, saying a person found with a firearm could simply say they were traveling outside the city.

Michigan Law on Carrying Guns in Cars

At a starting point, a person without a concealed pistol license is not allowed to carry a gun in a car. There is no way to open-carry in a car. However, a person may carry a gun in the car so long as the gun is carried in the right way.

The gun must be in the car for a lawful purpose, licensed, completely unloaded, in a case or container designed for firearms, and in the trunk or if no trunk then not easily accessible to occupants of the car. This is called the lawful-purpose exception to carrying a concealed weapon in a car.

A person with a concealed pistol license may carry a firearm in the car however they wish.

The New York ordinance contrasts with Michigan law because it limits the lawful purpose exception. It designates the only lawful purpose as going to one of seven shooting ranges within the city. Michigan law does not define what is a lawful purpose.

It should be noted that “lawful purpose” may not extend to school grounds, even if a person has a CPL. In the case of Michigan Gun Owners v. Ann Arbor Public Schools, the Michigan Supreme Court said school districts may ban guns on school property.

This case is called New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York. Stay tuned for updates.

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Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or by e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor Criminal Defense Attorney.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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