Supreme Court Punts on Hot Button Issue

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to decide on the constitutionality of a controversial New York City gun law that has since changed, ruling in an unsigned opinion that the case is now “moot” because of the changes in the law.

The court’s move to even hear the gun rights case despite a perceived procedural issue previously drew veiled threats from Democratic senators who filed a brief in the case, saying “[t]he Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”

The statute in question initially restricted the transportation of firearms outside city limits — even when licensed, locked and unloaded. The city’s statute was later amended after the Supreme Court agreed to review it and New York state passed a law overruling the original version of the city’s law. The court heard arguments over the original measure anyway.

“After we granted certiorari, the State of New York amended its firearm licensing statute, and the City amended the rule so that petitioners may now transport firearms to a second home or shooting range outside of the city, which is the precise relief that petitioners requested in the prayer for relief in their complaint,” the unsigned opinion read.

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