The Supreme Court decided against hearing petitions from men prosecuted for the illegal manufacture and purchase of suppressors in Kansas. Shane Cox manufactured and sold suppressors from his Army/Navy Surplus store.
Jeremy Kettler, an honorably discharged veteran, bought suppressors from Cox and posted videos of their use on Facebook, which eventually lead to the ATF charging both Kettler and Cox with violations of the National Firearms Act of 1934.
Cox and Kettler both claimed that they had not violated the law because the Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act of 2013 specifically says that suppressors are legal to manufacture, sell, and own as long as they are kept within the state of Kansas. Cox kept a copy of the Kansas Act on display with the suppressors he sold. Kettler and Cox claimed that their “reasonable reliance on the Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act rendered the federal prosecution unjust,” as stated in Cox’s petition to the Supreme Court. But the Tenth District Court said they couldn’t rely on that state law to supersede federal law, and continually instructed the jury to disregard the state law.
The two also claimed that this was a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights, but the Tenth District Court said that didn’t apply because suppressors are not firearms and are not covered by the 2nd Amendment.
In the end, Kettler, the buyer, was sentenced with one year of probation while Cox, the manufacturer/seller, was sentenced with two years of probation in 2016.
Their petitions to the Supreme Court in January 2019 would have challenged the constitutionality of the National Firearms Act, enacted 85 years ago, which taxes the sale of suppressors and heavily restricts their distribution and ownership. The petitioners claim the NFA is outdated and no longer reflects the current needs of the country.
The Supreme Court decided against hearing their cases on Monday, June 10th. The Court did not offer comment or dissent on their reasons. This comes less than two weeks after a suppressed handgun was used in the shooting of 12 city employees by a coworker in Virginia Beach, VA on May 31st. The Trump administration advised the Court not to hear the cases.