Did Supreme Court Open Door For More Gun Cases?

Did Supreme Court Open Door For More Gun Cases?
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear a Second Amendment case is big. It’s the first in over a decade. It’s what pro-gun folks have been waiting on for years and now it’s here.

Plus, it’s a significant issue, the idea that someone should be required to justify why they want a permit to carry a firearm.

However, is it a single gun case, or does it signal more?

This decision, seen by many as a surprise, could be an indication that the court is more favorable to hearing this types of cases in the future.

“As closely as three days ago, the court actually refused to hear three gun rights cases. They haven’t heard one in 10 years, since the McDonald case, which granted an independent right to bear arms under the second amendment,” said Dr. Marc Clauson, a professor of history and law at Cedarville University.

Since the McDonald case, the Supreme Court has refused any other gun rights case — which leads Clauson to believe that this could be a “crack in the door” for future cases.

Clauson is right, it could be.

However, it might not.

Look, when the Court heard Heller and McDonald back in the day, it looked like they might be opening the floodgates for more pro-gun rulings. Instead, what we saw was a decade of nothing.

That’s also what we saw after the confirmation of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. While I don’t believe either of these two was behind this inaction, we still didn’t see gun control come before the bench.

And it should have.

They’ve had important opportunities to address things like assault weapon bans, but they didn’t. They’ve had plenty of opportunities to advance the Second Amendment, but they didn’t.

As a result, I don’t think any of us should get our hopes up this time.

Let’s not forget that there were a number of pro-gun cases brought before the Court that the justices declined to hear. Sure, some of those may not have warranted Supreme Court review, but some of them did and yet, here we are.

The court hasn’t changed in the last week in any visible way. As such, the decision to hear this case may mean any number of things. Yes, as Clauson notes, it could open the door for Second Amendment cases. On the other hand, though, this might be a one-off where they hear this case and nothing for a few more decades.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy they’re going to hear this case. I hope it does signal the beginning of a golden age of pro-gun court rulings. What I’m saying is not to get your hopes up. If it happens, great. If not, well, we know the battles we need to fight, so let’s focus on those and take any rulings as a bonus.

If gun rights advocates do that, they’ll make the world a better place even if the Court never issues a Second Amendment ruling ever again.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t want the bonus.