February 24, 2014
Three cases involving Second Amendment issues were turned away from the Supreme Court on Monday. The cases concerned the right of Americans to carry firearms outside their homes for self-defense.
Constitution Daily reports the cases were considered on Friday in private conference.
A fourth case, however, may ultimately be considered by the Court and settle the matter. Drake v. Jerejianaddresses gun control in New Jersey. The case argues that the Second Amendment permits a resident of the state to carry a firearm outside the home without providing justification to the state. A number of amici curiae briefs were filed with the Court on February 12.
The Court is set to respond by March 14, according to the SCOTUSBlog.
The Court has not ruled on the Second Amendment since 2010 when it issued a decision on McDonald v. City of Chicago. The case added to the 2008 Heller decision. Heller held in a 5-4 decision the Second Amendment applies to the District of Columbia and protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for self-defense. It struck down a DC law outlawing the possession of handguns in the home.
The decision follows a ruling issued last week by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that overturned a prohibition on carrying concealed handguns. The Court ruled that carrying a handgun “outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense, though subject to traditional restrictions, constitutes ‘bear[ing] Arms’ within the meaning of the Second Amendment.”
Rulings on carrying firearms outside of the home have been mixed. The 7th Circuit concurred with the 9th Circuit that carrying a gun in public is covered under the Second Amendment. Other courts, however, including the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Circuits, have issued less definitive opinions.
Earlier this month, the 9th Circuit struck down a California law restricting the carrying of a concealed weapon in the state. A majority ruled that restriction on carrying firearms in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco violate the Second Amendment.