The guns rights community had hoped that the Supreme Court would hear Kolbe vs. Hogan, an important case on whether assault weapon bans are constitutional. Activists also hoped the Court would rule on whether Florida’s ban on open carry was constitutional.
The hope was that since two lower courts have issued conflicting rules on assault weapon bans, Kolbe would be an ideal case for the Court to settle the matter once and for all. It would have the added benefit of cutting off Dianne Feinstein’s nearly annual effort to ban assault rifles at the knees. Unfortunately, the Court decided not to hear the case.
The justices left in place a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Maryland law that does not permit the sale of a range of semiautomatic weapons and large-capacity magazines. The banned guns include those that were used in recent mass shootings in a south Texas church and at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.
Not that Las Vegas or Texas should have anything to do with the constitutionality of a law, but it’s ABC News. What do you expect?
Perhaps the most annoying aspect of this, however, is that even the conservative justices declined to comment on the refusal.
Perhaps the most noteworthy denials came in two cases involving gun rights: Kolbe v. Hogan, a challenge to Maryland’s ban on semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines, passed in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school; and Norman v. Florida, a challenge to the state’s ban on the open carrying of guns in public. In both cases, the lower courts had upheld the states’ bans, so today’s rulings leave those decisions in place. Unlike last June, when Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented from the court’s denial of review in Peruta v. California, in which the justices had been asked to decide whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense, today’s denials were not accompanied by any public comments from the justices.
In other words, there’s no indication that the justices stood up for the Second Amendment, though, in fairness, this is so minor that there’s little point in getting worked up about it. Once the refusal took place, it was over and done with. Public comments wouldn’t have changed a thing.
However, it is troubling that the Court – a court that played so heavily in the election since there was a vacancy during the campaign – has opted not to rule on the most pressing constitutional question regarding the Second Amendment.
Of course, at least holding the Court means the leftists don’t get to decide gun rights, so it wasn’t a total loss. It just wasn’t the big win we were hoping for.
For now, assault weapon bans are permissible, as are bans on open carry.
That just means they need to be beaten in the legislatures.