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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court, which has avoided major gun cases for seven years, on Monday declined to hear a challenge backed by the National Rifle Association to Maryland’s 2013 state ban on assault weapons enacted after a Connecticut


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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-guncontrol/top-court-spurns-challenge-to-maryland-assault-weapons-ban-idUSKBN1DR1SE

  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court, which has avoided major gun cases for seven years, on Monday declined to hear a challenge backed by the National Rifle Association to Maryland’s 2013 state ban on assault weapons enacted after a Connecticut school massacre.

The court turned away an appeal by several Maryland residents, firearms dealers and the state NRA association, who argued that the ban violated their right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

The justices sidestepped the roiling national debate over the availability of military-style guns to the public.

The case focused on weapons that have become a recurring feature in U.S. mass shootings including the Nov. 5 attack at a Texas church that killed 26 people, the Oct. 1 attack at a Las Vegas concert that killed 58 people, and the 2012 massacre of 20 schoolchildren and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which prompted Maryland’s law.

Assault weapons are popular among gun enthusiasts.

The challengers, who had sued Maryland’s governor and other officials in 2013, appealed a February ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia that upheld the state’s law. The 4th Circuit, ruling 10-4, said it had no power to extend constitutional protections to “weapons of war.”

Maryland’s ban outlaws “assault long guns,” mostly semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and AK-47, as well as large-capacity magazines, which prevent the need for frequent reloading.

Backed by the influential NRA gun lobby, the plaintiffs said in a court filing that semi-automatic rifles are in common use and that law-abiding citizens should not be deprived of them.

“The sands are always shifting with the Supreme Court,” Democratic Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said. “I hope that this means they have reached a conclusion that they are not going to fiddle with assault weapons bans across the country.”

The Supreme Court last year left in place assault weapon bans in New York and Connecticut.

“It’s inexplicable to me that people would allow the use of assault weapons when they see the carnage that has been inflicted on innocent victims around the country,” Frosh added.

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

FLORIDA CASE

The Supreme Court on Monday also declined to hear a second gun-related case in which a Florida man convicted of openly carrying a firearm on the street sought to challenge that state’s ban on such activity.

Defendant Dale Lee Norman, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was convicted of openly carrying a handgun in 2012 near his home in Fort Pierce, Florida. In March of this year, the Florida Supreme Court rejected Norman’s challenge to the so-called open-carry ban, saying it did not violate his right to bear arms.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued important rulings in gun cases in 2008 and 2010 but has not taken up a major firearms case since. It has repeatedly refused to second guess lower court decisions upholding state and local restrictions on assault weapons, which filled a void after a federal ban on these firearms expired in 2004.

 

In a landmark 2008 ruling, the Supreme Court for the first time found that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right to gun ownership under federal law, specifically to keep a handgun at home for self-defense. In 2010, the court found that right extended to state and local laws as well.

Since then, gun rights advocates have been probing how far those rights extend, including the types of guns and where they can be carried.

The 4th Circuit, in upholding Maryland’s law, noted the disproportionate use of semi-automatic assault rifles in mass shootings and said these weapons are like the military’s M-16 machine guns, which the Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling agreed may be banned. There was also little evidence that such guns are well-suited for self-defense, the 4th Circuit added.

The National Rifle Association criticized the 4th Circuit for finding that “the Second Amendment provides absolutely zero protection to the most popular long guns in the country and standard-capacity ammunition magazines that number in the tens of millions.”

Edited by The Legion
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The SCOTUS has made it clear they will give a lot of discretion to the states on how and where guns are carried. They have also made it clear that arguing an AR isn’t an assault weapon doesn’t hold water.

We need to remain focused on our state laws. Expanding Federal gun laws is a terrible idea.

  • Like 7
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Ya need to remember just how the Second Amendment got to where it is... The Second Amendment was, in fact, the second amendment as written originally until after the Civil War... Reconstruction state houses in each state passed restrictions on the second amendment in order to disarm certain non favored classes of folks... That's why most every state constitution has words similar to the Tennessee State Constitution that read kinda like this... "....The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, BUT, the legislature shall have the power to regulate the wearing of arms with an eye toward keeping the peace"..., or some such other platitudinous baloney... 

"The regulation of the wearing of arms" thing in the state house effectively put the control of the LEGAL wearing of arms and the Second Amendment in the hands of the state house politicos... That's why it's so important to watch what the state house does on this issue...

That allowed the Federal Gubmt (...Federal Courts...) to "hands off" and defer judgements on the Second Amendment at the state level... The Federal Court will not outright allow the banning of arms, but they will give every leeway to each individual state legislature... That is why ya have to watch the state house actions on this issue, and that's why (...i think, at least...) these other cases were not taken by the Supreme Court...

leroy

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On 11/30/2017 at 4:57 AM, polecat said:

Thanks Leroy

That explains a lot and makes sense and I do appreciate it! Hopefully we can keep Tennessee in the free state category.

We are not in the "free State" category, it is a crime to carry a loaded firearms off of one's personal property in TN without paying some sort of tax to do so. (and depending on who the liberal judge is, you may not have the ability to bear it on your own property, ask me how I know that one?)

Oh, I know, you may transport a loaded firearm sans permit in a vehicle, but beware taking it out and using it.

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I have a valid TN handgun carry permit so I transport a loaded firearm every day in my vehicle. Long guns are an issue I agree. I miss hiking In the boonies with my 30-30 for self defense and security.

In  my home state of Arizona I could open carry a loaded longun anywhere, anytime and concealed carry a hangun without a permit anywhere except for schools and certain government buildings. I lived in rural northern Arizona in the middle of the Prescott national Forest at elevation of 6,500 ft. I'm very aware of the definition of a free state. 

TN is not as firearm friendly as I would like but has many other freedoms - like no state income tax - which makes it a much better place to live than many other states.  I guess I was thinking of TN as compared to California, New York etc. But... Especially California, I only go there to visit my son and my grandkids. Last time I was there I actually had to cross Nancy Polosi Blvd with my grandson to get to a museum!  Seriously , it made me do a double take and check my wallet! LOL lol

Thanks

Edited by polecat
  • Like 1
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48 minutes ago, polecat said:

I have a valid TN handgun carry permit so I transport a loaded firearm every day in my vehicle. Long guns are an issue I agree. I miss hiking In the boonies with my 30-30 for self defense and security.

In  my home state of Arizona I could open carry a loaded longun anywhere, anytime and concealed carry a hangun without a permit anywhere except for schools and certain government buildings. I lived in rural northern Arizona in the middle of the Prescott national Forest at elevation of 6,500 ft. I'm very aware of the definition of a free state. 

TN is not as firearm friendly as I would like but has many other freedoms - like no state income tax - which makes it a much better place to live than many other states.  I guess I was thinking of TN as compared to California, New York etc. But... Especially California, I only go there to visit my son and my grandkids. Last time I was there I actually had to cross Nancy Polosi Blvd with my grandson to get to a museum!  Seriously , it made me do a double take and check my wallet! LOL lol

Thanks

I think I'd have had to drop a duce in the middle of the street!

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You can legally carry a loaded long gun in your vehicle, just not on your person most places unlike Arizona.

Listed in our "Criminal Offenses" Chapter of the Tennessee Code Annotated (39) is this:
 

39-17-1307.  Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.

  (a)  (1) A person commits an offense who carries, with the intent to go armed, a firearm or a club.

Your tax payer paid permit is a "defense against prosecution only", you have no right to bear arms off your personal property sans paying the vig to do so. 

The word "offense" means crime in legal terms, you commit a crime when you carry a loaded weapon with the intent to go armed in TN.

Just be aware, and do not let the pols try to convince you they are the 2nd Amendment loving gaggle they portend to be.

Edited by Worriedman
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