Atlanta, GA, Monday, April 27, 2020 – Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr (7th District, Georgia, 1995-2003), who currently serves as President of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation (LawEEF), today issued a statement expressing his extreme disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court failed yet again to take action to support the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. In this instance, a majority of the High Court, including Chief Justice John Roberts, decided that a case the Court already had agreed to decide more than a year ago was “moot” and therefore not sufficiently important to decide.
The case was based on a New York City ordinance that prevented a New York resident who already had a permit to have a firearm at his or her home from lawfully transporting the firearm to any location outside the City limits, even to a lawful gun range. Because New York City cleverly rescinded the ordinance as soon as the Supreme Court decided to take the case for review in order to avoid a potentially adverse decision by the Court, the majority today simply declared the underlying constitutional issues “moot” and not worthy of its consideration.
Justices Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch, on the other hand, stated that the City’s blanket prohibition on transporting a firearm even to a gun range in a neighboring jurisdiction, served as a very real and impermissible burden on the exercise of one’s Second Amendment right, and that actual issues remained to be resolved. These justices would have declared the questions presented to be still active, and found the City’s actions unconstitutional.
Justice Kavanaugh, the newest member of the High Court’s bench, agreed with the majority’s finding that the case was moot. However, he explicitly urged that the Court should without delay take one of the Second Amendment cases already pending before the Court, and issue an opinion that supports the individual right to possess a firearm as declared definitively by the Court in 2008 and 2010 opinions, but which for the past decade jurisdictions hostile to firearms possession (like New York) have repeatedly refused to honor in practice.
Once again also, Justice John Roberts was notable in his absence.
Note: Bob Barr served also as a United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986 to 1990, and has been a member of the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association (NRA) since 1997.