Supreme Court Turns Down Case on Carrying Guns in Public

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a California law that places strict limits on carrying guns in public.As is their custom, the justices gave no reasons for deciding not to hear the case. The court has turned away numerous Second Amendment cases in recent years, to the frustration of gun-rights groups and some conservative justices.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, dissented. The court’s refusal to hear the case, Justice Thomas wrote, “reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”

“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force,” Justice Thomas wrote, “the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous. 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.”

The court has seldom addressed the scope of Second Amendment rights. In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep guns at home for self-defense.

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