WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2021 – This morning, the Supreme Court announced it would take up the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, a challenge to a New York gun licensing law placing some restrictions on carrying handguns in public. With mass shootings having grown from a weekly to near-daily occurrence in the country, this raises serious concerns that the Supreme Court will make access to guns even easier, putting more people at risk.
This is particularly concerning given the records of the justices President Trump appointed to the Supreme Court after promising the National Rifle Association, “You came through big for me, and I am going to come through for you.” The NRA notably then spent millions of dollars supporting the confirmation of Trump’s justices. Their records include:
- In a dissent on the D.C. Circuit, Brett Kavanaugh indicated he would have ruled that the District of Columbia’s ban on semiautomatic rifles and its gun registration requirement are unconstitutional under District of Columbia v. Heller because “semi-automatic rifles have not traditionally been banned and are in common use today.”
- In a dissent on the Seventh Circuit, Amy Coney Barrett indicated she would have ruled against laws that prohibit felons convicted of serious crimes from owning guns — going against every other circuit court ruling on the question.
- Justice Gorsuch joined a dissent with Justices Alito and Thomas, who did not agree that a challenge to a since-repealed New York City law restricting transport of firearms was moot and they would have overturned it.
- Justice Kavanaugh joined Justice Thomas’ dissent arguing that the Supreme Court should have taken up a challenge to a similar New Jersey law regarding handgun permit requirements and overturned it.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“How much gun death is enough? We know that handgun restrictions reduce gun homicides, yet this Supreme Court’s conservatives appear intent on overturning laws that help keep people safe simply because they can. New York’s licensing law has been in place for over a century, and some state restrictions on carrying firearms in public are older than the Second Amendment itself. There should be no question that states can take such steps to protect their citizens from gun violence. By even agreeing to take this case, the Court’s conservative majority is demonstrating its obvious partisan agenda, not any allegiance to the constitution or the rule of law — let alone public safety.
We’ve already seen this Supreme Court repeatedly rule against COVID safety restrictions. We urge all of the justices not to make the same mistake when it comes our nation’s gun violence epidemic.”