SCOTUS Delays Inevitable Second Amendment Showdown Over Bearing Arms in Public

As previously noted here at Reason, the U.S. Supreme Court was recently presented with a pair of Second Amendment cases that raised the question of whether the individual right recognized in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) also applies to keeping and bearing arms for self-defense purposes outside of the home. This morning, the Court disappointed gun rights advocates by announcing it will not review those cases.

Does this mean the Supreme Court has washed its hands of future gun rights rulings? Not at all. In fact, another gun case is virtually inevitable. Just two weeks ago, for example, the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a major decision striking down a San Diego County restriction on conceal-carry permits as an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment. That case is likely to be appealed up to the high court, as are many others currently in the works. Sooner or later, the Supreme Court will have to reenter the thicket and grapple with the full meaning of the right to keep and bear arms.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sooner or later, the Supreme Court will have to reenter the thicket and grapple with the full meaning of the right to keep and bear arms.

    Really? They seem to be able to punt at will.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They're waiting for Obama to add another five Justices to the Court.

  • John||

    It really isn't much of a debate. The San Diago law said you could only get a CCW if the police found you could show good cause for needing one. Basically, you had to prove you are different from the ordinary citizen such that you need to be armed. This would be like the FCC saying you can only have a broadcast license if you can show good cause why you need one and the internet or publishing a newspaper isn't good enough. Having to ask permission to use a right doesn't even pass intermediate level scrutiny let alone strict scrutiny.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Actually, it only ruled the law unconstitutional under existing circumstances, those cirumstances being the banning of open carry. It did not address the issue of whether the law was unconstitutional on its face.

  • John||

    No. They ruled that the "good cause" restriction destroyed the right itself. Read the summary section of the opinion.

    http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/da.....9/10-56971 web.pdf

  • WTF||

    And New Jersey is apparently still free to follow the San Diego model of only issuing a carry permit if you can show 'good cause'.

  • John||

    Not in the 9th circuit. But it shouldn't be.

  • WTF||

    Unfortunately NJ is not covered by the ninth circuit. And one of the cases the supremes refused to hear was on New Jersey's "may issue" restrictions. So we get another big dose of FYTW.

  • Rich||

    Sooner or later, the Supreme Court will have to reenter the thicket and grapple with trample the full meaning of the right to keep and bear arms.

    FTFY

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It is almost as if the Court is willing to invent some new rights while ignoring those written in the text.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Well, in fairness, there are only nine pair of the magical glasses that allow for reading the invisibly inked portions of the Constitution available, so I guess well just have to trust them, right?

  • JWatts||

    The Supreme Court needs to answer the question for once and all whether the right to bear arms is a tax or a penalty? Or is it a penaltax?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I do wonder why lower courts are so resistant to apply Heller and McDonald.

    There was certainly resistance to racial integration of public schools in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) And yet, I can not recall any appellate court that, for example, upheld segregated buses or segregated public school restrooms or even segregated classrooms, holding that Brown did not foreclose such segregation.

  • John||

    Because every single Democratic appointee to the courts and a few Republican ones are fanatical gun controllers who think Heller was wrongly decided and are engaging in acts of civil disobedience by ignoring it.

  • ||

    Admittedly, Heller was potentially limited in scope by DC's being a weird jurisdiction. But post-McDonald that issue had been taken care of.

  • John||

    You are right about Heller. But McDonald made it clear that it is an individual right incorporated under the 14th Amendment. All of these laws that don't directly go to restricting the rights of criminals, minors and the mentally ill have to go.

  • WTF||

    All of these laws that don't directly go to restricting the rights of criminals, minors and the mentally ill have to go.

    Except in New Jersey. Because FYTW. In fact, some idiot in the legislature is doubling down by trying to pass a law restricting magazines to 10 rounds.

  • John||

    And just like the idiots who ignored Brown, I hope the Supreme Court bitch slaps him for it.

  • robc||

    Can the Supremes hold people in contempt for passing laws after they have ruled in unconstitutional?

    Because that would be pretty cool.

    And abused to no end.

  • John||

    Not sure about legislatures. But any LEO or state official who enforces a law which is clearly illegal, forfeits his sovereign immunity and can be sued as an individual for violating someone's civil rights. That is what killed segregation. George Wallace only stood in the door at the University of Alabama and made a show. He didn't actually stop the students from going to school. The thought of personal liability and bankruptcy deterred even the worst segregationists. And it would do the same to the gun grabbers if we would ever start properly enforcing the law.

  • WTF||

    Once the supremes rule, sure. But when there is a conflict between circuits that has not been resolved, it's just tough shit if you're in the wrong circuit.

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    I think the court's recognition of right to own will not carry over to possession in public except subject to time, place, an manner restrictions to allow transportation.

  • John||

    I agree. But those sorts of restrictions will have to be universal. If you are going to say the state can lawfully prevent people from carrying into schools or movie theaters, then that means everyone is restricted. Saying states can do that is not the same as saying states can only grant the right at all if they feel you need it.

    Restrictions on the scope of the right will probably get by. Restrictions on the access to the right beyond really compelling reasons like minors, the mentally ill and felons, will not.

  • Mainer2||

    Uniformity across states would be a vast improvement.

    How can it possibly be right that I can concealed carry in New Hampshire, but if I cross into Massachusetts, I'm committing a felony by mere possession ? As if possession of a gun is the same as possession of a prohibited thing like heroin.

  • robc||

    I would question carrying of heroin being a felony too.

    Concealed carry of heroin is covered by the 9th amendment.

  • Mainer2||

    Except that, like it or not, heroin is illegal in both states. I object to the connotation of using the term "possession" of a fire arm as a crime, when owning a gun is actually protected by the constitution.

    in other words, fuck Massachusetts.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I think the court's recognition of right to own will not carry over to possession in public except subject to time, place, an manner restrictions to allow transportation.


    bear

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I wonder why no similar "civil disobedience" regarding Brown.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So Damon, did the SCOTUS say why they won't hear those cases?

    Do they need to provide a reason other than FYTW?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Often, Denial of Cert doesn't come with a reason. They decline to hear thousands of cases a year.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And they should be ungodly chastised in the media for allowing government to infringe upon Constitutionally guaranteed rights. That's their reason for existing for fuck sake. They are supposed to be a check on the other two branches.

  • koutb123||

    GREAT ARTICLE

    THANKS

    http://www.roknnagd.com/

  • Marc F Cheney||

    THAT MAKES ME WANT TO CLICK ON YOUR LINK

  • Wandering Texan||

    I guess the discrepancy between circuits happened after the decision to not hear the NJ may-issue case. They rejected the MD version last year as well.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The cases denied cert were about handgun purchase and carry for people 18-20 year old.

  • harleyrider1778||

    You think the seconds something just imagine if the supreme court were forced to enforce the 9th amendment for what it just says with no alternative meanings.............

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

    In effect our liberty is guaranteed as a right in whatever we choose to do. Of course short of theft and destruction of property or murder.

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