Originally by TheWashingtonPost.com by Robert Barnes
“The Supreme Court declined Monday to review bans on a lengthy list of firearms that New York and Connecticut have classified as “assault weapons,” the latest example of the justices turning down an opportunity to elaborate on an individual’s right to gun ownership.
With an emotional debate about gun control reigniting across the street at the Capitol, the justices without comment said they would not review lower-court decisions upholding the laws.
Connecticut’s ban was expanded shortly after a gunman used one of the military-style semiautomatic weapons on the list to kill 20 students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012.
The decision Monday was not a surprise, as the justices have previously declined to review other lower-court decisions that uphold bans passed by cities and states. Maryland, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New, Jersey as well as many cities and towns, have similar laws. None of the legal challenges to them have been successful in lower courts.
These prohibitions were enacted after a federal ban expired in 2004. Attempts to revive the federal ban have failed, although advocates are trying in the wake of the massacre at an Orlando nightclub that left 49 victims dead.”
“Like other laws, Connecticut’s ban includes semiautomatic guns and high-capacity magazines, covers popular weapons such as AR-15s and AK-47s, and names more than 180 weapons that cannot be sold.
But the individuals and organizations challenging the law said the state is an “outlier” in banning weapons that are popular and protected in the rest of the country.
“In truth, the odd assortment of firearms Connecticut calls ‘assault weapons’ are mechanically identical to any other semiautomatic firearm — arms that, as no one disputes, are exceedingly common and fully protected by the Second Amendment,” the challengers said in their petition to the court.
Gun rights advocates have urged the court to review such bans, saying that they violate the court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which said individuals have a right to gun ownership for self-protection.
After recognizing the individual right for the first time in Heller, which covered the federal enclave of the District, the court made clear in a subsequent case that state and local governments, like Congress, could not prohibit individual gun ownership.
But the court has not shown any interest since then in elaborating on what exactly that right covers. And in the process, the justices have passed up the chance to scrutinize lower-court decisions that have upheld the laws banning certain weapons as well as laws requiring tight restrictions on those who can legally carry guns outside their homes.”
New Jersey state gun and weapon laws differ from federal laws in several different ways. As long as the Supreme Court continues to decline reviewing firearms bans from lower courts, understanding local gun possession laws is vitally important to NJ gun owners.
Timothy Farrow, of Dash Farrow, LLP, is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former NJ state prosecutor with extensive knowledge of New Jersey gun laws and over 10 years of experience dealing with gun and weapon possession charges. If you are looking for experienced, focused, and responsive legal help for a gun or weapon arrest in New Jersey, call Dash Farrow, LLP at 856-235-8300 or Contact Us Here.
See the full article at TheWashingtonPost.com.