U.S. Supreme Court declines new gun regulations challenge

WASHINGTON Mon May 5, 2014 9:58am EDT

A hand gun, very similar to the gun used by alleged gunman Wade Michael Page, is seen at The Shooter Shop, where Page purchased the weapon, in West Allis, Wisconsin, August 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress

A hand gun, very similar to the gun used by alleged gunman Wade Michael Page, is seen at The Shooter Shop, where Page purchased the weapon, in West Allis, Wisconsin, August 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to weigh in on whether gun owners have a constitutional right to carry handguns outside the home.

The court decided not to hear a challenge to a New Jersey state law that requires people who want to carry handguns to show they have a special reason before they can get a permit. The court has shown a reluctance to wade in on the issue in recent months, declining to hear cases that challenged similar regulations in New York and Maryland.

The gun owners challenging the law said that the right to bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was not limited to the right to keep a handgun at home.

By declining to hear the New Jersey case, the Supreme Court left intact a July 2013 decision by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the law.

The high 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 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.

The case is Drake v. Jerejian, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-827

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Paul Simao)

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Comments (4)
moweddell wrote:
The US Constitution gurantees the rights of citizens to bear arms, etc.. If and when any law passed by a state or other US government entity it is always subject to the Constitution interpretation or ruling in cases of controversy, etc. One of the most important duties and responsibilities of the Supreme Court is to decide on the rule of law in controversies related to freedoms and liberties guranteed to citizens by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The court not to decide an important controversy is an refusal of their intended responsibility established by law. It is now clear that the American citizen can not rely on thiscourt to settle disputes. By their refusals they, now allow the proliferation of various inconsistant, even arbitrary, laws to be passed by any government body that may infringe on citizens guranteed rights. It is also clear that the HOuse and Senate are unable to support citizens and their rights with legislation related to this matter which is already guranteed by the Const.& Bill of Rights. It appears that citizens are no longer control of their government! Perhaps the next election will change this direction.

May 05, 2014 10:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
vincewarde wrote:
I think it’s clear that SCOTUS does not want to decide this issue. I don’t think they wanted to rule on the matter of the existence of a 2nd Amendment right either. In that case there were two appeals courts that had ruled in favor of a 2nd Amendment right before they took Heller. Technically, at this point only one appeals court (the 7th) has ruled that the right extends outside the home. The 9th did issue a similar ruling, but it is under appeal to the entire 9th circuit – so it is not yet final. As is so often the case, this may come down to California….

May 05, 2014 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
borisjimbo wrote:
Scalia dearly wanted to rule on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment while he had the chance. It’s why he ignored every tenet of constitutional interpretation he claims to adhere to in order to reach the result he did in Heller. Stevens properly called him out on it in his dissent. Perhaps Scalia is now having second thoughts given e.g. Newtown, Cliven Bundy and his “militia” supporters, the fact that so many of the studies supposedly relied on in Heller were all written by the same person under the pay of the NRA.

May 06, 2014 5:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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