SCOTUS Takes Rare Stand Against Gun Violence In New Ruling


The U.S. Supreme Court has denied requests to hear three cases in which individuals who have been convicted of non-violent crimes and blocked from owning firearms were seeking to have their gun ownership rights restored. The court’s denials of the appeals in these cases mean that lower court rulings in favor of the weapons blocks are remaining in place, for now.

At least four justices have to back taking up a case for the process to move forward, and the nine-member court currently has just three justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents. Thus, at least a few of the court’s conservative members, which include three appointees of ex-President Donald Trump, appear to have opted to decline the cases, adding up to at least six opposed to taking up the appeals.

The three cases involved a Pennsylvania man who had lost his right to own a firearm after an early 2000s misdemeanor DUI conviction, a Pennsylvania woman who had been convicted of lying on her tax returns, and another man from Pennsylvania who had been convicted of copyright violations after smuggling counterfeit cassettes.

Adam Kraut, who works as an attorney with the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), which represented two of the plaintiffs, commented as follows after the court’s decisions:

‘While we are disappointed the the Supreme Court chose to allow grossly improper lower court rulings to stand, FPC will continue our aggressive litigation strategy and immediately move forward to litigate new challenges in various circuits to address serious constitutional questions including the proper test for Second Amendment cases, unconstitutional lifetime bans, and other restrictions not supported by history, tradition, or evidence.’

Recently, following mass shooting incidents in the country, the Biden administration announced a slew of policy steps to combat gun violence. The moves included plans for an imminent release by the Justice Department of a proposed rule to combat so-called “ghost” guns, which don’t have serial numbers and are assembled via kits. Biden’s team also announced that the Justice Department would be releasing example “red flag” legislation for states that would outline a method for blocking potentially dangerous individuals from accessing firearms, and they also said that they’d be “investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.”

Featured Image via Sunira Moses on Wikimedia Commons, available under a Creative Commons License