Under New York law, it is a crime to possess a firearm,” held the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in U.S. v. Sanchez-Villar (2004). This ruling was based on the state’s ban on the possession of an unlicensed handgun. This Court also said that police officers who see a gun are “justified in seizing it because of its ‘immediately apparent’ incriminating character.” This prohibition did not offend the Second Amendment, said this ruling, because “the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.”

Later rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court—D.C. v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010)—begged to differ. These rulings held that the right to possess a gun is indeed a constitutional—and therefore fundamental—right. But the Second Circuit must not have gotten the memo, because in 2018 it upheld New York City’s ban on taking a licensed handgun out of one’s house to go to a range or second home outside the City.

A police official claimed doing that would endanger public safety. How? They claimed that a person who the police extensively vetted for the license might, alas, get road rage and somehow get access to their unloaded, locked and inaccessible handgun while traveling. That flimsy, insulting allegation somehow overrode the Second Amendment.