Supreme Court Lets California's Gun-Buying Waiting Period Stand


As previously mentioned, the Supreme Courts decision comes on the heels of the widely reported school shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14.

In upholding the law, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals used rational basis review, though it claimed to be using intermediate scrutiny, Thomas said.

It was the gun owners' appeal of that 9th Circuit decision that the Supreme Court declined to take up today, prompting Justice Thomas to take the rare step of dissenting from the Court's refusal to hear the case. Thomas sees the Supreme Court's inaction in this area as treating the second amendment as a "disfavored right", noting, "I suspect that four Members of this Court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period for abortions".

"Once again the Supreme Court has refused to entertain the gun lobby's extreme interpretation of the Second Amendment", said Eric Tirschwell, litigation director for Everytown for Gun Safety, a group funded by billionaire businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Plaintiffs Jeff Silvester and Brandon Combs argue that the waiting period is unconstitutional when it comes to people who already legally have guns and a concealed carry permit, because background checks don't take that long, and a cooling off period wouldn't stop them from using a weapon they already have.

The waiting period gives a gun buyer inclined to use it for an impulsive goal a "cooling off" period before obtaining it, which has been shown in studies to reduce handgun suicides and homicides, the state said in a legal filing. He criticized his colleagues for declining to take up a significant gun case in the past decade.

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"The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this court's constitutional orphan", Thomas wrote. "And the lower courts seem to have gotten the message", Thomas wrote.

But Hannah Shearer, a lawyer with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the court has consistently rejected "extreme challenges that go well beyond the right to self-defense".

For Thomas, such treatment " is symptomatic of the lower courts' general failure to afford the Second Amendment the respect due an enumerated constitutional right".

The other case involved $5 of the $19 fee that California collects on each firearms sale to pay for background checks and notify dealers if the would-be purchaser is barred from owning a gun. The period exists so state officials can assess the purchaser's identity, legal status, and mental health. United States and a second ruling two years later.

Silvester, however, is also part of a larger crusade by Thomas to convince his colleagues to hear more gun cases. The fee case is Bauer vs. Becerra, 17-719.