What the New ‘Concealed Carry’ Gun Law Could Mean for NYC


Professor Nicholas Johnson was quoted in a City Limits article about U.S. gun control laws.


Jacobs, an expert on federal gun laws, says the NYPD might try to regulate or monitor gun-toting visitors. The expense of those monitoring efforts could bolster a case against the federal law for “imposing cost” on the city and state, he says.

“I suppose NYPD would try to require an out-of-state concealed carrier to sign in [or]register with the NYPD so we would have a record of who is legally carrying,” he says. “That would entail a cost [and]makes the case against the federal law a bit stronger. But the feds would argue that they did not ‘impose’ that cost.”

Existing case law related to nationwide gun legislation has challenged the federal government’s ability to force states to create regulatory structures, but not the government’s ability to override state gun restrictions.

Both Jacobs and Fordham University Law Professor Nicholas Johnson, a federal gun law expert, pointed to the Supreme Court case Printz v. United States to highlight a potential Tenth Amendment argument against concealed-carry reciprocity.

In the case, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government violated the Tenth Amendment by “commandeering” state and local law enforcement agencies by requiring states to temporarily conduct background checks on gun buyers.

Printz, however, applied to a federal mandate that compelled states and municipalities to “do something” — spend money on creating a background check system and on enforcing background checks — Johnson says.

“[The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act] is different from other Federalism cases in the sense that reciprocity does not demand that states develop any regulatory apparatus or assign a sheriff to do background checks,” Johnson says. “All it does is create a system of immunities for out-of-state citizens.”

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