The Supreme Court has refused to review bans on an expansive list of firearms that Connecticut and New York have classified as “assault weapons.” The court’s refusal to review the banned weapons upholds a lower court ruling that was passed in response to the elementary school attack in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. This latest decision is one of many examples of the Supreme Court desperately trying to avoid being dragged into the national debate on gun control.
Seven states have now passed laws banning what they deem to be “assault weapons.” Connecticut, New York, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have all passed laws that ban these “assault weapons” in their respective cities and states. Several attempts have been made to repeal the bans in lower courts with no success.
The refusal to review Connecticut’s weapons ban is especially detrimental to the Second Amendment. Unlike other states Connecticut’s ban includes high-capacity magazines and popular semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 and AK-47.
The only attempt to review the ban came last December when the Supreme Court refused to review another lower court decision to uphold the “assault weapons” ban. Justices Clarence Thomas and now-deceased Antonin Scalia argued that a similar law “flouts” the Second Amendment and stated that:
“categorical bans on firearms that millions of Americans commonly own for lawful purposes.”
Supporters of the Second Amendment and critics of the ban argue that it is a direct violation of District of Columbia v. Heller. This 2008 case proclaimed that individuals have a right to gun ownership for self-protection within the home. It appears that the Supreme Court realizes that this may be true. They have been actively avoiding any cases that determine whether or not someone’s right to defend themselves supersedes state bans and any and all cases that determine what restrictions would be deemed too burdensome for citizens.