While the Jan. 24 editorial “The court trains it sights on guns” correctly claimed that in its two landmark Second Amendment opinions, District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court “enshrine[d] an individual constitutional right to the possession of a firearm at home for self-defense,” it ignored that the justices found the right “to bear arms” for self-defense was not limited to the home. Indeed, Justice Clarence Thomas found it “extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen.”
Nevertheless, the New York regulation forbids licensed gun owners from taking a gun outside their homes except to a gun range in city limits, and the gun must be locked in a case separate from the ammunition, rendering the gun useless for self-defense.
The editorial argued that because this New York City regulation is a “one-of-a-kind provision,” it “hardly cried out for Supreme Court correction.” This provision, however, strips a constitutional right to bear arms from 8.5 million residents. New York City permits only about 40,000 of its millions of residents even to have a firearm in their homes for their protection. As the court found in Heller in 2008, “a statute which, under the pretense of regulating, amounts to a destruction of the right, or which requires arms to be so borne as to render them wholly useless for the purpose of defense [is] clearly unconstitutional.”
Joyce Lee Malcolm, Alexandria