The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Second Amendment case that some believe presents the “single most important unresolved Second Amendment question,” whether it secures an individual’s right to bear arms for self-defense outside the home.
The case comes out of California, and it challenges a California law that places very strict limits on carrying guns in public.
The justices reportedly gave no reasons behind their decision to not hear the case, and this is far from the first time the court has turned away Second Amendment cases in recent years.
According to the NY Times, Justice Clarence Thomas, accompanied by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, dissented. Justice Thomas wrote the following about the court’s refusal to hear the case. He said this decision, “reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep guns in their home for self-defense. Since then, however, the court has spelled out very little as far as what other laws might violate the Second Amendment.
The court’s silence on the matter has created a divide in the lower courts, causing the federal appeals court in Chicago to rule against an Illinois law that banned carrying guns in public, while federal appeals courts in New York, Philadelphia and Virginia all stood by laws that placed limits on permits to carry firearms outside one’s home. The Supreme Court turned away appeals in all three cases.