A Challenged Law Banning Certain Weapons has been Declined to Hear by the Supreme Court

By: Jeff Coy

Picture By: Brian.ch on Flickr

National Public Radio has covered a story on the Supreme Court not hearing a gun ban in the Chicago Suburbs. The ban challenged is on the sale or possession of semiautomatic weapons.

A local ordinance enacted in the Chicago suburbs in 2013 prohibits the possession of assault weapons. The weapons prohibited include AK-47s and AR-15s. The ordinance also banned large capacity magazines/ clips that can hold more then 10 bullets. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court and local ordinance on having the bans in place.

In 2008, Supreme Court justices ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment protects the right to own a gun for self-defense in the home.

Two Justices, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia disagreed with the decision not to hear the case (as noted in the cases’ Certiorari-Summary Disposition)

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote: “Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.”

Several recent mass shootings involved these prohibited assault-style weapons. President Obama has recently called for stronger controls over the sale of these sort of weapons.

President Obama said: “I know there are some who reject any gun-safety measures, but the fact is that our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual was motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology. What we can do, and must do, is make it harder for them to kill.”

This issue will continue to be debated until there is a clear understanding of what weapons people can and cannot own. This is a great step into making these rules more clear in areas prohibiting assault rifles. I believe it is clear that the Constitution has the second amendment for the protection of oneself in their own home. However, there are some weapons that are just unnecessary to own.

Sources:

NPR

Supremecourt.gov

Law.cornell.edu

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