SCOTUS Declines Challenges to Gun Laws


The Supreme Court on Monday declined to wade into the politically volatile issue of gun control by leaving intact three court rulings rejecting challenges to federal and state laws.

The court’s decision not to hear the cases represented a loss for gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, which was behind two of the challenges.

The first case involved a challenge by the NRA to a Texas law that prevents 18-20 year olds supreme courtfrom carrying handguns in public. It also raised the broader question of whether there is a broad right under the Second Amendment to bear arms in public.

The second NRA case was a challenge to several federal laws and regulations, dating back to 1968, that make it illegal for firearms dealers to sell guns or ammunition to anyone under 21.

The third case was on the narrow question of whether consumers have the legal right to challenge laws that regulate the sale of firearms. The challenge to a federal law that restricts the interstate transport of guns, and a related Virginia law, were filed by several District of Columbia residents who wished to obtain guns via neighboring Virginia.

The court has yet to decide whether there is a right to carry guns in public, a question left unanswered in its two most recent gun-related decisions.

In the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case, the court held that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteed an individual right to bear arms. Two years later in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court held that the earlier ruling applied to the states.


We talked about this a couple of weeks ago and discussed possible outcomes. It seems to me that if a case makes it to our highest court, they should be required to hear it. That is not the case and I’d like to know why. Hopefully someone who does know will jump in here and explain it.

On the other hand, it could be better that they didn’t hear these cases and possibly make things worse.


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11 Responses to SCOTUS Declines Challenges to Gun Laws

  1. Buck says:

    It is strange to me we have to have learned jurists to tell us what the Second Amendment says. It is more strange to me that so many of these jurists haven’t a clue what the Second Amendment says. Or maybe they do.

  2. BrianR says:

    They can and do refuse to hear cases all the time. In fact, the majority of cases appealed to SCOTUS are NOT granted cert.

    There are many reasons: they decide to let the lower court decision stand; no conflict, usually between different Circuit findings, needing resolution; no substantive federal issue at stake; lack of standing of the appellants.

    • Kathy says:

      I know that, Brian, they refuse to hear cases all the time. What I wasn’t sure about was the why. Thanks for elaborating on the reasons and I noticed you didn’t include political motivation, which I think is extremely high on their priority list.

  3. How about reading the Amendment AS IT’S WRITTEN? It’s in friggin’ English and needs NO translation. They act like it was written in Latin for cryin’ out loud! WTF!

    What good is the SCOTUS if they can’t, or won’t, define or adjudicate ACCORDING to Constitutional Law AS IS WRITTEN???

  4. Clyde says:

    While SCOTUS has been spot-on in some decisions, look at Obamacare. Maybe the court NOT granting cert was a blessing in disguise.

  5. Mrs AL says:

    I pick the latter part of your comment, Kathy. This might have made things worse had they chosen to hear it.

    Good discussion here, all. Learned a lot. Thanx.