News|Industry News

By Drew Bryant
July, 1st, 2022,

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ordered the lower courts to revisit 2nd Amendment cases involving firearm restrictions in California, New Jersey, Maryland, and Hawaii due to the high court’s ruling last week.

This order to the lower courts comes in one week after the landmark ruling—which the Supreme Court affirmed that Americans have the right to carry a firearm outside of the home in NYSRPA v Bruen. The high court advised the lower courts to take another look at cases that have been waiting to be heard by the high court. Those cases include magazine bans, assault weapons ban, and open carry laws.

In a 6-3 decision last week, the Justices, struck down a New York law that required residents to show “proper cause” or a specific need to carry a gun, if they wanted to conceal carry a firearm in public. About six states currently have similar laws in play that have been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

In the New York case, the court’s majority decision gave lower courts new guidance on how to evaluate gun restrictions. In their decision the Justices rejected a two-step appeals court process used previously is one step too many. Lower courts who are assessing modern firearms regulations should ask whether they are, “consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding.”

Sending the cases back to the lower courts will allow them the opportunity to apply the Supreme Court’s new guidance. Previously, the lower courts upheld the firearm restrictions when challenged.

The cases that the high court sent back to the lower courts to be re-evaluated where New Jersey’s and California’s magazine bans, Maryland’s assault weapons ban, and Hawaii’s restrictive open carry laws.

The Third Circuit (NJ) and Ninth Circuit (CA) upheld the the magazine bans of New Jersey and California, respectively. In those rulings by the lower courts it allowed for NJ and CA to ban magazines with a capacity greater than ten rounds.

In 2018, a New Jersey law limited most gun owners to ten round magazine capacity instead of the fifteenth round capacity that has been in place since 1990. The Third Circuit upheld that law when challenged in court.

California also has a ban on magazine that can hold more 10 rounds as well. The Ninth Circuit with a panel of 11 judges ruled to uphold the ban with a 7-4 decision.

The Supreme Court also sent back a case from Maryland that challenged the state’s 2013 ban on 45 firearms labeled as assault weapons. Back in 2017, the high court turned away a pervious challenge of Maryland’s assault weapons ban.

The high court also sent back the Hawaii case to the Ninth Circuit to be reviewed by the lower court. The Hawaii case is a similar statue/law to the New York case. In 2021, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the right to “keep and bear arms” in the Constitution’s Second Amendment “does not guarantee an unfettered, general right to openly carry arms in public for individual self-defense.” In the latest 2nd Amendment case by the Supreme Court the Constitution protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” Which will require the lower court to revisit the ruling from 2021.

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