The case stems from a New York City law that barred licensed gun owners from bringing their handguns to shooting competitions, gun ranges and second homes outside city limits.
It was challenged by a trio of residents who said the law violated their Second Amendment rights and said transporting an unloaded gun in a locked container didn’t pose a significant safety risk.
The law was upheld by a federal appeals court, but after the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal the city repealed the law and passed a new law ensuring licensed gun owners can take their weapons to any location where they are permitted by law to have one.
New York State, New York City and multiple gun safety advocacy groups asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case as moot in light of the changes surrounding the law but it declined.
“Independently and together, the new statute and regulation give petitioners everything they have sought in this lawsuit,” the city’s lawyers said.
During oral arguments Monday, the Supreme Court will debate the mootness of the question as well as the merits of the case.
Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said the group was confident the Supreme Court would reject the city’s attempt to avoid the review.
“The City of New York did not respect its citizens’ Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward,” Cox said.
The court has previously declined to rule on gun rights cases since establishing the Second Amendment provides the right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense in 2008’s Washington, D.C., vs. Heller and then clarifying that right extended nationwide in the 2010 case of McDonald vs. Chicago.
Monday’s case has guns safety advocates concerned the Supreme Court could set a precedent that would jeopardize hundreds of local gun restrictions throughout the United States.
“What’s really on the line is our progress against gun violence and the future of life-saving gun safety laws,” Hannah Shearer of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said.