Supreme Court rejects gun rights appeal

Supreme Court rejects gun rights appeal

The Supreme Court is rejecting yet another call to decide whether Americans have a constitutional right to carry guns with them outside their homes. Petitioners had argued that law enforcement officials in San Diego and Yolo counties had defined good cause so narrowly that they only gave licenses to individuals who could, for example, present "documented threats of violence" or "demonstrate they are a specific target at risk".

In opting not to hear Peruta v. California, the high court let stand an en banc ruling from the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a California law requiring a gun owner to show "good cause" in order to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. "Even if other members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry", he wrote, "the time has come for the Court to answer this important question definitively".

It is the latest of several actions by the court which suggest that while the Constitution protects an individual right to "bear arms", the scope of that right is quite limited.

Justices Neil Gorsuch, whose tenure on the high court began in April, and Clarence Thomas were the only two in favor of doing so for Peruta.

The justices on Monday also declined to hear another Second Amendment case, Binderup v. Sessions, in which two men with felony convictions argued that their particular circumstances do not merit being barred from gun ownership.

The second case dealt with the federal law that bans felons from possessing guns, according to CNN/The Hill. The crimes were classified as misdemeanors, which typically are less serious, but carried potential prison sentences of more than a year.


Daniel Binderup of Manheim, Pennsylvania, was 41 when he pleaded guilty to "corruption of minors" after acknowledging that he had been involved in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old employee of his bakery business.

Gun rights advocates will be disappointed that the court once again declined to review lower court decisions that upheld local and state laws limiting the rights of gun owners. The crime is a misdemeanor yet carries with it a maximum prison term of five years, although Binderup was given probation instead of time behind bars.

Liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor said they would have granted the appeal to hear the case. Suarez was given a suspended jail sentence and a year of probation.

The case of Peruta vs. California has been closely watched as a test of whether 2nd Amendment rights go beyond the home.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not taken up a Second Amendment case in seven years.

In a petition asking the Supreme Court to take up the case, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence similarly argued that the previous ruling would "open the floodgates to thousands of new challenges", which would lead to unsafe individuals getting their gun rights reinstated.

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