The Volokh Conspiracy

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Does the Second Amendment Secure a Right to Carry Guns in Most Public Places?

Another cert. petition asks the Supreme Court to resolve the circuit split on this question.


The case is Rogers v. Grewal, which challenges New Jersey's restrictive firearms carry license policy. There's a split on the subject among lower courts; the details are a bit complicated, but the short version is that the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits have upheld such restrictive policies, while the Seventh, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits, together with the Illinois Supreme Court have struck down some such policies. Several amicus briefs support the petition, including one signed by, among others, the California State Sheriffs' Association, which "represents each of the fifty-eight California sheriffs."

The defendants have waived their right to respond, so here are the possibilities:

  1. None of the Justices calls for a response, which means that the Court will deny review (likely on Feb. 22 or Feb. 25, because the petition is currently scheduled to be considered on Feb. 22).
  2. One of the Justices calls for a response, but the Court eventually still denies review, as it has done before. (Such a denial might or might not be accompanied by a dissent from some Justices.)
  3. One of the Justices calls for a response, and the Court eventually grants review, with the case being heard next Term, and likely decided during the heart of the 2020 election campaign.
  4. One of the Justices calls for a response, and the Court holds the case pending New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, the Second Amendment case that the Court has already agreed to hear, and that might be heard in April. Depending on the reasoning of the New York State Rifle & Pistol decision, the Court could then either agree to hear Rogers, decide not to hear it, or send it back to the Third Circuit to be reconsidered in light of the New York State Rifle & Pistol decision.