Will the Supreme Court Once Again Take Up Arms?

The very valuable SCOTUSblog last week
wrote up some of the gun cases
up for possible consideration by
the Supreme Court soon, a few of which will be considered in a
conference by the Court later this month. The Court has notoriously
avoided the many issues unresolved by 2008’s
 and 2010’s McDonald
cases so far:

The Justices at their private Conference on February 21 will be
examining two cases filed by the National Rifle Association,
raising basic questions about the power of Congress and state and
local governments to pass gun control laws.  In different
ways, each of those petitions seeks to draw the Court’s attention
to the lingering issue of gun rights in public places.  The
cases are NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
 (13-137) and NRA
v. McCraw

Both of the new cases deal with laws — a federal law in 13-137,
a Texas law in 13-390 — that restrict access to handguns for young
adults eighteen, nineteen, and twenty years old.   In
separate rulings, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
upheld both laws at issue, and in the process raised serious doubts
about whether the Second Amendment even applies to gun rights
claims of those who are under the age of twenty-one but still
regarded as adults….

The petition in the federal case is a sweeping claim that lower
federal courts have been engaging in “massive resistance” to the
Court’s landmark decisions on Second Amendment rights….

The petition in the state case….is a straightforward plea
to extend the Second Amendment beyond the home, because it involves
a state law that bars almost all youths ages eighteen through
twenty from carrying a handgun in public.  Texas requires a
license to carry a gun in public, but those in that age
group are not eligible to get such a license.  The
petition in that case said that the Supreme Court in 2008 settled
that the “right to keep arms” applies within the home, so now, it
argued, it is time for the Court to decide whether the “right
to bear arms” means the right to carry them when one leaves

The Court may announce as early as February 24 whether it is
going to hear any of these cases.

The forthcoming April issue of
Reason (subscribe now!) has a
feature by me, “Five Gun Rights Cases to Watch,” which focuses on,
among other cases,
NRA v. BATFE. It also
discusses another case related to restrictions on the right to
obtain carry permits, Drake v. Derejian, that has also
filed for certiorari to the Court, 

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