SCOTUS Refuses (Again) to Consider Gun-Related Cases

SCOTUS has once again punted on several Second Amendment cases.

The United States Supreme Court announced today its decision to deny certiorari to several gun-related cases that gun rights advocates had hoped would clarify state restrictions on concealed carry, semi-automatic firearms, and magazine capacity.

The decision is a major blow for the pro-2A movement. Groups like the Second Amendment Foundation had hoped the Court would take one of these cases after it threw out a gun-related case from New York earlier this year. President Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh also gave 2A groups reason to hope that the court would break its decade-long silence on Second Amendment issues.

But in its orders published today, the justices left in place restrictions on the right to carry firearms in public in Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. They also declined to review Massachusetts’ ban on “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines, a California handgun control law, and a federal law banning interstate handgun sales.

“Given the fact that the Supreme Court had a cafeteria-style menu of cases from which to choose, there is no excuse why the court at this time chose to ignore the need to rule on any of these cases, and send a message to lower courts that they can no longer thumb their noses at the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions affirming the right to keep and bear arms,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch wrote a dissent disagreeing with the Court’s decision to deny certiorari to a concealed carry case out of New Jersey.

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Thomas, who has been the court’s most vocal critic of its silence on Second Amendment issues, pointed out that the lower courts have “systematically ignored” the Court’s holding in its landmark 2008 case, D.C. v. Heller. That case supposedly solidified the individual right to keep and bear arms, but lower courts have subsequently ignored or reinterpreted the Court’s ruling.

Rather than addressing these discrepancies, “the Court simply looks the other way,” Thomas says.

Thomas argues that the Court would immediately take up a case in which a state required a “good cause” to exercise First Amendment rights or to procure an abortion, as New Jersey does to exercise the right to bear arms.

“In several jurisdictions throughout the country, law-abiding citizens have been barred from exercising the fundamental right to bear arms because they cannot show that they have a ‘justifiable need’ or ‘good reason’ for doing so. One would think that such an onerous burden on a fundamental right would warrant this Court’s review,” Thomas says.

“With what other constitutional right would this Court allow such blatant defiance of its precedent? Whatever one may think about the proper approach to analyzing Second Amendment challenges, it is clearly time for us to resolve this issue” he adds.

The lower courts are split when it comes to many Second Amendment issues. Thomas points out, for example, that the D.C. Circuit Court has struck down “good cause” requirements for concealed carry while the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits have upheld such licensing schemes.

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Analysts have wondered for years why the court has refused to step in and settle these disputes. The prevailing theory is that Chief Justice John Roberts has refused to indicate whether he would uphold gun rights in any particular case. Without the assurance of a fifth vote, the four justices on the unofficial “conservative” block are hesitant to take a case and risk a loss.

If, for example, Roberts sided with the progressive block and upheld a state’s “good cause” requirement, there would be no stopping any state from implementing a similar licensing requirement.

“The Supreme Court’s refusal to take a Second Amendment Foundation case falls squarely at the feet of Chief Justice John Roberts,” Gottlieb said. “He owes every gun owner in the United States an explanation about why the high court declined to hear a number of important Second Amendment cases.”

There is still one more case pending cert before the high court that was filed by the SAF. It is known a Rodriguez v. San Jose, a firearms confiscation case out of the State of California.

Stay tuned for updates.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Brian June 20, 2020, 11:31 am

    Roberts is a RINO who has shown his true partisan colors and is just another Constitution hating liberal in disguise.

  • Area52 June 19, 2020, 4:03 pm

    There is a suspected 5-4 pro second amendment majority on the Supreme court. That includes Roberts who started to act like Benedict Arnold. There is even some speculation that other pro 2nd Amendment justices declined 2nd Amendment cases fearing Roberts’ decision.

    Does anyone want the SCOTUS to take on a specific 2nd amendment case such as an Assault weapons ban , magazine limitation , carry rights at this time with the aforementioned odds. I say no. Wait for another pro second amendment judge to be nominated

    Roberts cannot be trusted and once the court decides a case it’s etched in stone.

  • John June 19, 2020, 3:56 pm

    It’s time for action not talk. Article VI of the US Constitution makes it the law of the land, period. Absolutely no one has the power to alter the Constitution. The US Supreme Court was created by the Constitution and the justices swore a sacred oath to obey it w/o question. Below are interesting court decisions:

    “Where rights by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 436)

    “The claim and exercise of a Constitutional Right cannot be converted into a crime” Miller v. U.S. (230 F. 486)

    “Public officials are not immune from suit when they transcend their lawful authority by invading Constitutional Rights.” AFLCIO v. Woodard, 406 F 2d 137t.

    “It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.” American Communications Association v. Douds, (339 U.S. 382), 442-43 (1950).

    “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137 (1803).

    The court justices are not Gods but merely government employees, with granted powers from the people. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Free people have an inherent right to nullify any law that does not comport with the law of the land is unconstitutional, making it null and void from the moment of its creation. No one has a duty to obey it and no judge is required to enforce it.

  • Hondo June 19, 2020, 9:09 am

    Chief Justice Roberts is a compromised cuck that’s needs to be impeached .

    • WVinMN June 19, 2020, 12:56 pm

      Yes he most certainly is. From literally rewriting the manner in which Obamacare gets funded to taking a dump on the Second Amendment, he’s the foul gift that keeps on giving. BTW, ever notice how “Progressive” SCOTUS appointees never drift right (actually Originalist) during their tenure on the Supreme Court?

      • Kane June 20, 2020, 10:35 am

        Allegedly, BHO illegally spied on two Popes and got one to step down. Putin and Merkle can probably relate. BHO probably had dirt on Roberts and that might explain the justices strange rulings.

  • Rangemaster11B June 19, 2020, 8:41 am

    It seems Chief Justice Roberts is the problem.

  • Phil June 19, 2020, 7:52 am

    Obviously the juries in those cases were weak or compromised. All juries have the RIGHT to judge the law as well as the facts. We don’t need SCOTUS for that.

  • Jay June 19, 2020, 7:52 am

    So why don’t the People flood the SC with letters, phone calls, and emails demanding they do their job or leave the bench?

    • deanbob June 19, 2020, 8:35 am

      Unfortunately, I think Chief Justice Roberts is, at times, more concerned about his place in (“progressive”) history than the founders’ intent, the actual constitution, or the law. Why else would THE CHIEF JUSTICE ignore the constitution to re-write a piece of legislation – Obamacare – from the bench rather than return it to the legislature to make it constitutional? And, just in the last couple of days, why would this same chief justice ignore the constitutional separation of power to invalidate an executive order of the President of the United States?

    • Edward M Pate June 19, 2020, 9:50 am

      By design the Supreme Court is to be immune from the influence of public opinion or lobbying.

      • WVinMN June 19, 2020, 1:00 pm

        Do you think Roberts is not influenced by the Deep State and our Marxist media/culture? Because to me, that type of filth seems to have Justice Roberts deep inside their collective pockets. They say jump, he responds “How High?”.

      • Rollin L June 19, 2020, 3:07 pm

        That design failed a long, long time ago. No reason to allow the notion to sustain any facade of credibility today.

  • Norman Dvorak June 19, 2020, 6:15 am

    Well I wonder how much money went into these supreme Court Justice’s Pockets for them to make this type of decision.

    • Give Me Freedom June 19, 2020, 11:13 am

      I am wondering this as well. This is a huge blow to the 2nd Amendment in the States that have terrible infringements in their laws.

      About 37 States still recognize the 2nd Amendment in 2020 presently.

  • Boz June 16, 2020, 2:37 pm

    SCOTUS is compromised. America is burning. We are weeks into a new cîvîI war, aII but the shooting has started.

    • John Bibb June 19, 2020, 12:05 pm

      HI BOZ–Not quite! The opening shots in a new civil war occurred 2 or 3 years ago when a crazed far left wannabee assassin shot LA Representative Steve Scalise on a D.C. Beltway baseball field!
      We’ve also seen more of actual shootings lately where these perps ambushed and shot Police Officers. They have real body counts now.
      John Bibb

  • Chris Robinette June 16, 2020, 2:22 pm

    Since The United States Supreme Court announced today its decision to deny certiorari to several gun-related cases AGAIN forcing the lower district courts to totally botch their rulings resulting in multiple levels of rights and restrictions that will contradict those of other district courts. It is therefore the AMERICAN right’s to ignore those multiple district “f”udges rulings of Amendment II being “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Already in the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the “Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm “unconnected with service in a militia”, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” Says what it means and needs no translation or explanation. IT means that today as it was then the American people have to the right to defend their “homes” against any form of invasion, foreign or domestic.

    • ALFONSO CABALLERO June 19, 2020, 6:47 am


      • David K Halcrow June 19, 2020, 8:35 am

        Robers seems to have punted on anything controversial since being appointed. We would expect such a fundamental right as the second amendment could hardly be misinterpreted any rational thinking human. Do your job you have no other purpose in your position. Be a man and for once step up for the constitution Who So many have died to protect. A subject for which you so clearly you lack a spine!!!

      • deanbob June 19, 2020, 8:44 am

        Roger that! And the only legal way to do that is via the process sought by the Convention of States. But, I wonder if our time to get this done is slipping away. Not enough people are being taught American history nor civics. So, they do not understand the importance. But, there are elites, college professors, and Marxists who do and intent on the very cultural revolution that is taking place now, not too different from Communist Chinese Mao Zedong’s cultural Revolution that took over China virtually over night. Wake up America.

  • Alan June 16, 2020, 9:38 am

    No doubt we have rino roberts to thank for screwing the Constitution again.

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