The Supreme Court has yet again refused to hear two of the gun-rights related cases, continuing the pattern of declining all such cases going back several years.
The Court had decided not to take up either Kolbe v. Hogan or Norman v. Florida in their latest order list. These two cases represent challenges to Maryland and Florida’s gun-control laws. Kolbe had challenged the constitutionality of Maryland’s ban on certain semi-automatic rifles and handguns. Whereas, Norman had challenged Florida’s ban on the open carry of firearms.
The gun laws in both these cases were upheld in lower courts. The Supreme Court’s choice to not take up either case means that the lower court rulings and the laws would remain in place.
The Court’s reluctance to take up gun-rights cases in recent years has left the gun-rights activists and even some members of the Court frustrated. When the Court had refused to hear Peruta v. California, a challenge to California State’s restrictive gun-carry laws, Justice Gorsuch and Justice Thomas had filed a dissent.
“The Court’s decision to deny certiorari in this case reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right,” Thomas had said in the dissent. “The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742. Since that time, we have heard argument in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.”
Thomas went so far as to say that the Court’s own security detail may affect their own view of the Second Amendment.
“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous,” he had said. “But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”
In response to the Court’s decision not to take up Kolbe, the National Rifle Association said that it believes that Maryland’s ban on certain guns violates the Second Amendment.
“Maryland’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines violates our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense,” Chris Cox, the head of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told the news source. “The Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller clearly stated that arms in common use for lawful purposes are protected by the Second Amendment and thus cannot be subject to an outright ban. We will continue fighting to ensure that the Second Amendment freedoms of law-abiding Americans are respected in the courts.”