Supreme Court Makes Decision on “Assault Weapons” Ban Case
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has made a decision in regards to a local “assault weapons” ban (firearms that look like military weapons). The court voted to not take on a case from Chicago, Illinois. By not taking on the case, the Court leaves the ruling of the appellate court intact. The announcement comes after the White House has publicly said that it would like to see a national “assault weapons” ban put back into place.
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas voted in favor or hearing the case. In their dissent, Thomas said the court should have taken on this case in order to prevent “from relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”
According to NBC News, many activist groups wanted the court to hear this case based on how the lower courts ruled on it:
In rejecting a challenge to the law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, said “assault weapons with large-capacity magazines can fire more shots, faster, and thus can be more dangerous in the aggregate. Why else are they the weapons of choice in mass shootings?”
The Illinois State Rifle Association, which filed a lawsuit to challenge the Highland Park law’s constitutionality, said the weapons are in no way unusual. The AR-15, the group said, is the best-selling rifle type in the nation.
Lawyers for 24 states urged the Supreme Court to strike the ordinance down. They said the weapons it banned are not only commonly used but also protected by state laws that forbid local communities to restrict them.
The court has not taken on a gun rights case since its landmark 2008 Heller ruling that found the Second Amendment guaranteed the right to own firearms inside the home, but does allow for some restrictions on firearms.