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Tuesday, 05 May 2020 19:55

US Supreme Court Both Rejects and Delays Possible 2nd Amendment Cases

By George L. Lyon, Jr, Esq.


As you may have heard the Supreme Court last week dismissed as moot the New York State Rifle and Pistol case that many had hoped would clarify for the lower courts the standard court should use to review second amendment cases. While not unexpected, the 6-3 decision was still a disappointment. Justice Alito wrote a dissenting opening which Justices Thomas and Gorsuch joined arguing that the case was not moot and that the city ordinance at issue was unconstitutional. In the penultimate paragraph of his opinion, Justice Alito made the following comment:

“We are told that the mode of review [by the lower courts] in this case is representative of the way Heller has been treated in the lower courts. If that is true, there is cause for concern.”

Justice Kavanaugh issued a short concurring opinion in which he stated he agreed “with JUSTICE ALITO’s general analysis of Heller and McDonald. Post, at 25; see District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570 (2008); McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742 (2010); Heller v. District of Columbia, 670 F. 3d 1244 (CADC 2011) (Kavanaugh, J., dissenting). And I share JUSTICE ALITO’s concern that some federal and state courts may not be properly applying Heller and McDonald. The Court should address that issue soon, perhaps in one of the several Second Amendment cases with petitions for certiorari now pending before the Court.”

The comments by these two Justices indicates in my opinion that they are both ready to take up another second amendment case of which there are several that have been pending at the court while the court considered New York State Rifle and Pistol. Presumably Justices Thomas and Gorsuch are also disposed to take up additional second amendment cases. We may very well see the court agree to hear one or more of those cases within the next few weeks. Yesterday, on May 4, the court delayed any announcement of whether it would accept or reject consideration of the numerous second amendment cases currently pending.

Separately, there have been a number of developments regarding District of Columbia concealed carry and firearm registration that are discussed in my most recent blog post on the Arsenal Attorneys web site. The following is a link to that blog entry:

As I discuss in the blog, while the current medical emergency is in effect, I will be conducting the DC Concealed Carry Class (conducted separate from my law practice for Arsenal Attorneys), including the renewal portion of the class, on line via Zoom. Our next three classes are May 16-17, June 27-28 and July 18-19. The portion of the class for renewal students is given in the afternoon of the first day. Range sessions will be scheduled as soon as indoor ranges in Virginia can reopen. You can contact me directly for signup instructions.

Arsenal Attorneys’ George Lyon is licensed to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He was one of the plaintiffs in the Palmer v. District of Columbia case that forced DC to begin issuing concealed carry licenses and in the Heller case that legalized handguns in Washington, DC. Mr. Lyon is licensed by the Metropolitan Police Department to teach the DC concealed carry course including the renewal course and conducts the course monthly. His next class is May 16, 2020 to be conducted online. To sign up for his course, contact Mr. Lyon at gll[at] or at 703-291-3312.
This blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

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Arsenal Attorneys

Arsenal Attorneys is a law firm serving clients in approximately 40 states. We provide criminal defense, business services, estate planning and many other services. Our law firm is renowned for serving gun owners and the firearms industry, and particularly because of our Arsenal Gun Trust™. Our main office is located near the headquarters of the National Rifle Association and of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in the Washington, DC area. We deliver legal services conveniently for clients near and far, including military personnel overseas. We help clients exercise their rights, protect their loved ones, reduce risks, protect privacy, comply with the law, and succeed in business.