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Supreme Court ducks three gun cases

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The Supreme Court denied three petitions Monday intended to get a ruling on the applicability of the Second Amendment, SCOTUSblog reported this morning, linking to the court’s Order List.

“The Supreme Court refused ... as it has done repeatedly in recent years, to reopen the issue of whether Second Amendment rights to have a gun extend beyond the home,” Lyle Denniston posted. “The Court, without comment, denied three new petitions -- two filed by the National Rifle Association. The cases were Nos. 12-1401, 13-137, and 13-390.”

That’s partly what was involved.

The first case listed is Michelle Lane, et al., Petitioners v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, et al., petitioned by Alan Gura of Heller and McDonald fame, and backed by the Second Amendment Foundation. The case centered on “challenging the constitutionality of federal and Virginia provisions barring handgun sales to non-residents.”

The second listed case, National Rifle Association, et al., Petitioners v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, et al., joined by 22 states, sought “to end the federal prohibition of young adults to purchase handguns from federally licensed dealers.”

The third rejected case, National Rifle Association of America, Inc., Petitioner v. Steven C. McCraw, in His Official Capacity as Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, presented the questions “Whether the Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense in case of confrontation includes the right to bear arms in public ... Whether that right to bear arms extends to responsible, law-abiding 18-to-20-year-old adults [and] Whether Texas’s ban on responsible, law- abiding 18-to-20-year-old adults bearing handguns in public for self-defense violates the Second Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.”

Having their petitions not accepted is no doubt a disappointment for those petitioning them, but will certainly not be the last word, particularly for the question of bearing arms, as a recent Ninth Circuit panel ruling suggests is inevitable.

Considering the slim 5 - 4 majority rulings in the two most recent Second Amendment cases, and noting that elections have consequences (as Republicans appear to be doing their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory), it may be preferable for gun owners if a decision from SCOTUS would come sooner rather than later. Regardless, all the court need do at present to ensure the continuation of Second Amendment infringements is ... nothing, as they just demonstrated.

UPDATE: Dave Workman weighs in.

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