Supreme Court Snubs 2nd Amendment Cases A semi-automatic hand gun is displayed with a 10 shot magazine, left, and a 15 shot magazine (right) at a gun store in Elk Grove, Calif., on June 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Monday, 19 April 2021 02:57 PM
The Supreme Court on Monday snubbed three challenges to a federal ban on gun ownership for people convicted of nonviolent crimes — dashing Second Amendment advocates' hopes the restriction would end.
Instead, the high court let stand a series of lower court rulings prohibiting people convicted of driving under the influence, making false statements on tax returns, and selling counterfeit cassette tapes from owning a gun, USA Today reported.
The decisions came without comment, and the news outlet noted it was the latest in a series of instances in which the high court skirted Second Amendment questions.
The Supreme Court also took no action Monday on another pending Second Amendment question, USA Today reported — whether the Constitution guarantees the right to carry a gun in public places. In that case, two New York State residents wanted a license to carry guns outside their home but were denied because they didn't meet the state's requirement of having a "special need for self protection."
The court is expected to decide whether to take or reject that case later this year, the news outlet reported.
The last major gun rights rulings by the high court were in in 2008 and 2010, when handgun restrictions were struck down in the District of Columbia and Chicago.
According to USA Today, four conservative justices, in recent dissents, have signaled a desire to address outstanding Second Amendment questions.
The rebuff comes in the wake of an alarming series of mass shootings in recent weeks in Atlanta, Boulder, Colo., and at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
According to USA Today, the challenges to the federal gun ban involved a Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 2005, a Pennsylvania woman who pleaded guilty to making a false statement on her tax returns, and a man who pleaded guilty to counterfeiting and smuggling cassettes in the 1980s.
But the refusal to take up the challenges was a surprise to advocates since Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the newest member of the court, had given reason for optimism on the issue. In 2019, as a judge on the federal appeals court in Chicago, Barrett dissented from an opinion upholding the law that bans convicted felons from owning a gun, the news outlet noted.
The inaction comes amid a swirling debate over gun rights in a nation that has a gun fatality rate consistently higher than other wealthy nations.
President Joe Biden has urged the Senate to approve two bills passed by the Democrat-led House of Representatives on March 11 that would broaden background checks on gun buyers. Biden has also called for a national ban on assault-style weapons, while the White House said he’s considering executive actions to address gun violence that would not require the approval of Congress.