Against the objections of two Justices, the US Supreme Court refused on Monday to consider a NRA-backed appeal against San Francisco’s strict gun laws. After the decision, dissenting Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas raised questions on how the Supreme Court, as well as lower courts, dealt with cases related to the Second Amendment.

“Despite the clarity with which we described the Second Amendment’s core protection for the right of self-defense, lower courts, including the ones here, have failed to protect it,” Justice Scalia wrote in dissent. “Because Second Amendment rights are no less protected by our Constitution than other rights enumerated in that document, I would have granted this petition.”

Scalia and Thomas added that San Francisco’s gun laws strained against the fundamental core of the Second Amendment. Currently, gun owners in the city are required to keep handguns in a lockbox or secured through a trigger lock when they are not carrying them on their person. Residents are also forbidden from using hollow point ammunition, despite their popularity as a self-defense round elsewhere.

Gun advocates have long called these laws a violation of the Second Amendment and in 2012, Espanola Jackson and seven other plaintiffs filed a suit against the city to overturn the lockbox law. Their challenge has a precedent in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court decided that gun owners have a right to a readily available weapon in the home.

The challengers argued that the lower courts—such as the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld San Francisco’s gun laws in a ruling last March—were disregarding the Supreme Court’s previous decisions entirely. The dissenting Justices mostly agreed.

“San Francisco’s law allows residents to use their handguns for the purpose of self-defense, but it prohibits them from keeping those handguns operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense,” Thomas wrote. “The law burdens their right to self-defense at times when they are most vulnerable—when they are sleeping, bathing, changing clothes or otherwise indisposed. There is consequently no question that the San Francisco law burdens the core of the Second Amendment right.”

Image from Iceman7840 on the Wikimedia Commons

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8 thoughts on “Supreme Court Brushes Aside NRA Appeal to San Francisco Hollow Point Ban, Lockbox Law

  1. The Supreme Court has been hijacked by the left & this Administration, Republicans in Congress that have forgotten who they represent, & the oath that they have taken. This country is in serious trouble, & if we don’t turn things around soon it will be too late.

    1. RPJ , as soon as yesterday wouldn’t be too soon . The scope of fixing America is much larger than government alone . Talk to grade school children , ” schools” are little more than indoctrination centers devoted to leftist themes . The ” mainstream media ” is way more propaganda than information . All have the goal of destroying the family , religion ,and freedom that made America great . The constant message of communism , fascism , socialism , islamofascists , is the same ; you can get ahead by tearing down achievements , not by trying to excel !

  2. I can understand locking up a gun so kids can’t get to it, but hollow points have more stopping power and are less likely to pass through unintentionally and hit someone else.

  3. Not to worry with all the Mother Nature things hitting California and their loss of water etc. most people left with any intelligence will leave soon. Those who do not realize their days are numbered can turn on each other and the Republic of California will soon be a memory only. I haven’t been around San Francisco in twenty five years now, I can take the loss.

  4. Obvious Un-constitutional laws are not enforceable. That’s the reason the 2nd amendment is in the Constitution, to protect ourselves from tyrannical government intrusion.
    Give the offending authority ample warning before using deadly force.

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