Supreme Court Refuses To Address Assault Weapons Bans

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear challenges to New York and Connecticut’s assault weapons bans on Monday, according to Bloomberg Politics.

The Supreme Court declining to hear these cases means the bans in those states will remain intact, according to Reuters. The two cases, Shew v. Malloy and Kampfer v. Cuomo, challenged the constitutionality of banning semi-automatic rifles, sometimes referred to as assault weapons. Federal appeals courts had ruled that these bans were constitutional.

supreme court assault weapons
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]
The Supreme Court’s decision comes just over a week after 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and one of the guns used in that shooting was a semi-automatic rifle called a Sig Sauer MCX. The Supreme Court has not taken on a major gun case in six years.

“Sensible gun safety legislation works. The Supreme Court’s action today in declining to hear this appeal affirms that the reforms enacted in Connecticut following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School were reasonable, sensible and lawful,” Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said.

“The overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners want reasonable and effective gun control legislation,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said of the Supreme Court decision. “They know that there is no place for weapons of war on the streets of America. New York’s assault weapons ban keeps New Yorkers safer — period.”

Both New York and Connecticut’s assault weapons bans were enacted in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. A semi-automatic rifle was used in that shooting.

There are currently seven states with assault weapons bans, and there is a heated debate across the country around if the federal government should enact a ban. The United States banned assault weapons for around a decade until 2004.

filibuster gun control
[Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images]
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for the assault weapons ban to be reinstated, and so has President Obama.

Donald Trump recently said he wished club goers in Orlando had had guns during the massacre so they could have killed the shooter, but he later changed his opinion on that.

“It’s too bad that some of the young people that were killed over the weekend didn’t have guns, you know, attached to their hips, frankly, and you know where bullets could have flown in the opposite direction,” Trump told radio host Howie Carr, according to PBS.

He later tweeted that he “obviously” meant that there should have been guards and employees who had guns at the club.

Back in 2000, Trump supported banning assault weapons, but he has now changed his mind. He says the need for protection changed his mind.

“I changed positions because we need protection in this country. We need protection. We have to have protection,” Trump said on CBS This Morning Monday, according to USA Today. “And the bad guys have them, so if the bad guys have them, we need protection in this country.”

Congress is considering gun control legislation after a 15-hour filibuster in the Senate, which was started by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy. It was the 9th longest filibuster in history, according to the Huffington Post.

The filibuster was started to demand that the Senate vote on two gun control measures. The first measure would ban those on the terrorist watch list and the no-fly list from purchasing guns. The second measure aims to enact a universal background check for gun sales. That means that people purchasing guns online, at gun shows and through private sales would have to go through background checks, which is not currently the case.

Almost half of all guns purchased in the United States are purchased without a background check occurring, according to CNN. Many mass shooters have purchased their guns online.

The Supreme Court will likely not make any sweeping gun control decisions any time soon.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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