The founder of the Second Amendment Foundation said last week he believes the "floodgates" are now open for the Supreme Court to take new gun rights cases after the Court agreed to hear a New York case.
"The anti-gunners said that when we won McDonald at the supreme court, that if the court rule that our way it would open the floodgates for second amendment litigation," Alan Gottlieb told the Washington Free Beacon. "It's the one area where the anti-gunners were right."
In agreeing to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. New York City, a case challenging the city's law banning those with legally owned firearms from taking them anywhere but their home or a local shooting range, Gottlieb said the Supreme Court was signaling they would begin wading into Second Amendment litigation once again nearly a decade after landmark decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
"It shows for the first time in a lot of years the Supreme Court decided to hear another gun case," he said. "It means that the Supreme Court is back in the business of hearing gun cases."
Gottlieb noted the lower courts in the New York case has sided with the state in upholding its gun control law. He said he believes the Supreme Court likely wouldn't have decided to take the case if they intended to side with the state.
"I don't believe the Supreme Court would choose to hear this case if they were going to affirm the lower court decision," he said. "I believe they have the votes and they're looking at this law as being unconstitutional. So I'm kind of excited about it. And it impacts, of course, the Second Amended Foundation because we have a couple of other cases with certain petitions before the Supreme Court right now."
Gun rights activists and even some of the Supreme Court justices themselves have complained for years that lower courts were ignoring or sidestepping the precedents set in Heller and McDonald and urged the court to take new gun cases. Gottlieb said he feared the election of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her potential appointment of justices less protective, or even hostile to, the Second Amendment would've continued that trend. He credits President Donald Trump ‘s appointment of justices with judicial records that gun rights activists support with the Court's potentially renewed interest in gun rights cases.
"It's a really big deal," he said. "And it shows why Donald Trump's election was very important for gun rights because now we have a court that's tipping more in the favor of looking at gun rights, making sure our Second Amendment rights are protected."
He said he would be watching the litigation closely in order to see how it might affect future cases his group plans to bring before the court.