SCOTUS declines gun case

Via Christian Science Monitor, it’s good news that SCOTUS seemingly isn’t all that eager to strike down all handgun regulation – and a bit of a shock, considering these are the same conservatives who ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller:

The US Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a potentially important gun rights case examining whether a federal regulation banning loaded firearms from vehicles in a government park violated the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Lawyers for a Virginia man had asked the justices to examine a question left largely unresolved in the high court’s two prior landmark rulings identifying the scope and substance of Second Amendment protections. The question is: Does the Second Amendment guarantee a right to bear arms in public for personal protection?

The court dismissed the case in a one-line order without comment. The action leaves lower court rulings intact and postpones the prospect of high court clarification on a key gun rights issue.

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment establishes a fundamental right of law-abiding individuals to keep a handgun in their home for self-protection. In 2010, the high court extended that ruling to apply Second Amendment guarantees beyond federal enclaves like Washington, D.C., to all state and local jurisdictions.

The dismissed appeal, Masciandaro v. US (10-11212), had asked the court to examine whether Americans have a right to carry loaded weapons in public places for self defense.

How the justices answered that question would have established guideposts for future gun regulations at the local, state, and national levels of government.

In the 2008 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, the court said that gun rights are not unlimited. The court said there is no right to “carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Gun rights advocates say that statement confirms a right to carry at least some weapons, in some manner, for some purpose.

The high court also said that “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places” would not necessarily violate the Constitution. Gun rights advocates counter that the statement, again, suggests that a right to carry firearms must therefore exist in non-sensitive places.

This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.