Supreme Court Lets Down Gun Rights Defenders

Since the establishment of the United States, the Supreme Court has heard and decided relatively few cases involving the Second Amendment and gun rights.

In 1939, in the case of United States v. Miller, 307 US 174, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear a shotgun with a barrel less than 18-inches in length. I personally don’t’ like this ruling because I have seen and used a 12-gauge shotgun handgun with a barrel length of only 12 inches. It was most effective for self-protection. Most states have since passed laws banning any shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches.

In 2008, in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570, the Supreme Court struct down a ban on handgun ownership in the District of Columbia. In this ruling, the court stated: ‘The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.’

In 2008, in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 US 742, the Supreme Court ruled against a Chicago ordinance to ban handguns in the city, like they did in the previous case concerning the District of Columbia. In this case, Justice Alito wrote: ‘It is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty’ (p. 31). ‘The Fourteenth Amendment makes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms fully applicable to the States.’

In 2016, the lesser known case of Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577, US __, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment extends to all arms that did not exist at the time when the Second Amendment was drafted. The decision was over whether a stun gun was protected under the Second Amendment.

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Residents had hoped that the Supreme Court would hear the case of Peruta v. California, but on Monday, the high court said they would not hear arguments for this case, dashing the hopes of many California citizens.

In California, obtaining a concealed carry permit is an arbitrary and uncertain process. To obtain a concealed carry permit, California requires they give ‘good cause’ for why they need to carry a concealed weapon outside the home. The determination of ‘good cause’ is left up to the county sheriff’s office in each country and just stating the ‘good cause’ as for self-defense is not sufficient in most case.

San Diego County is known for being extremely stringent on what they define as ‘good cause’, thus making it very difficult for anyone to obtain a concealed carry permit in the county. That’s what prompted Edward Peruta to file a lawsuit challenging the ‘good cause’ requirement for obtaining a concealed carry permit. He contended that this was an arbitrary requirement that left the decision to the sheriff’s department mode or agenda and had nothing to do with the real reason most people want a permit for which is self-defense.

Peruta v. California first went before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a 3-judge panel ruled in favor of Peruta. However, an 11-member panel from the same court later ruled that the concealed carry permit process with the good cause requirement was legal. No shock here as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is THE most liberal court in the nation.

This is when the appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of hopes of showing the ‘good cause’ requirement was nothing more than an agenda drive reason to deny permits and had nothing to do with real need.

When the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, it dashed the hopes of thousands of Californians who wanted to be able to obtain a concealed carry permit for reason of self-protection in an ever increasing hostile and dangerous nation.

Justices Thomas, and Gorsuch dissented on the decision to not hear the case. In their joint dissent, Thomas and Gorsuch wrote:

“The Court’s decision to deny certiorari in this case reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right… (‘Second Amendment rights are no less protected by our Constitution than other rights enumerated in that document’.) The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 US 742. Since that time, we have heard argument in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments.”

The question remains as to when will, or if, the Supreme Court will take up a Second Amendment case of such importance. Until they do, anti-gun liberals will continue to chip away at the Second Amendment rights of the American people.


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