Monday, June 20, 2016

From the Washington Post: Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to Connecticut’s ban on ‘assault weapons’

This addresses a question posed last week about whether the Supreme Court might decide whether the Second Amendment applies to assault rifles. Their refusal to hear the appeal implicitly means that a majority thinks it does not.

- Click here for the article.
The Supreme Court declined Monday to review bans on a lengthy list of firearms that Connecticut classified as “assault weapons,” the latest example of the court’s reluctance to be drawn into an emotional national debate on gun control.
The justices decided without comment not to review a lower court decision that upheld the laws; Connecticut’s was enacted shortly after a gunman used one of the military-style semiautomatic weapons on the list to kill 20 students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012.
The decision was not a surprise, as the court has previously declined to review other court decisions that uphold bans passed by cities and states. Maryland, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, as well as many cities and towns, have similar laws. None of the legal challenges to them have been successful in lower courts.

They were enacted after a federal ban expired in 2004. Attempts to revive the federal ban have failed. But Congress is once again embroiled in a debate over gun control after the massacre at an Orlando nightclub left 49 victims dead.
Like other laws, Connecticut’s ban includes semiautomatic guns and high-capacity magazines, and covers popular weapons such as AR-­15s and AK-­47s.
. . . The court’s action Monday continues a pattern. After recognizing the individual right for the first time in Heller, which covered the federal enclave of the District, the court made clear in a subsequent case that state and local governments, like Congress, could not prohibit individual gun ownership.
But since then, the justices have avoided all cases that might clarify whether that right is more expansive or which restrictions are too burdensome.

- Here is a link to the decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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