Supreme Court won't hear challenge to California gun waiting period

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Lower courts, meanwhile, have developed elaborate rules governing which sorts of gun laws should receive especially skeptical review by judges, and when courts should be more deferential to lawmakers.

The Supreme Court rejected two challenges by guns rights groups to California laws regulating firearms sales.

Demonstrations calling on Congress to enact stricter gun control laws have been led by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. -where a gunman last week killed 14 students and three staff members. The year 2017 meanwhile was the deadliest stretch of mass shootings in modern USA history. "Thomas" beef with the lower court's ruling in the Silvester case is part of his overall pro-gun agenda, as ThinkProgress notes. "Our continued refusal to hear Second Amendment cases only enables this kind of defiance", he wrote.

The case is Silvester v. Becerra.

A lawsuit by the NRA and other firearms advocates argued that the fee placed an unjustifiable financial burden on Californians exercising their constitutional rights. And, he said, the court had not clarified the standard for reviewing gun regulations for nearly 10 years.

However, the plaintiffs contend that since they already own guns, this waiting period should be waived, and Justice Thomas agreed with them.

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"Common sense suggests that subsequent purchasers contemplating violence or self-harm would use the gun they already own, instead of taking all the steps to legally buy a new one in California", he wrote. "It did so without requiring California to submit relevant evidence, without addressing petitioners" arguments to the contrary, and without acknowledging the District Court's factual findings".

The 9th Circuit decision "is emblematic of a larger trend" in which the lower courts fail to protect the Second Amendment to the same extent that they protect other constitutional rights, Thomas said.

"The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court's constitutional orphan", Thomas wrote in a dissent.

Although the Supreme Court held, for the first time in 2008, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms, the Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller still leaves lawmakers with considerable leeway to regulate these firearms.

California is one of eight states that require waiting periods before the purchase of a gun; other than Hawaii, it is the longest cooling off period.

Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Library of Congress in February 2018. The delay was initially meant to allow time for background checks, and while those now take far less time electronically, state officials say the waiting period also acts as a deterrent against suicides and other impulse shootings. It said the 10-day waiting period is a reasonable safety precaution for all purchasers of firearms and need not be suspended once a purchaser has been approved.

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