Supreme Court Sends Stun Gun Case Back to the Lower Court

In a per curiam (unauthored) opinion, which concurring Justices Alito and Thomas call “grudging,” the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to decide again whether Massachusetts’s stun gun ban is constitutional. Currently eight states and a handful of cities and counties ban stun guns.

 The highest state court in Massachusetts held that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect stun guns because they weren’t in common use at the time the Second Amendment was enacted, they are “unusual” as “a thoroughly modern invention,” and they aren’t readily adaptable for use in the military. Continue reading


Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Gun Case

Every year the Supreme Court refuses to hear thousands of cases. A denial of certiorari does not mean the Court agrees with the lower court decision. So most cert denials go unnoticed. 

 That said, many eyebrows were raised for many reasons when the Court denied cert in Friedman v. City of Highland Park. The issue in the case was whether the City of Highland Park could ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines.  Continue reading


En Banc Argument in Peruta Suggests Limitations on Concealed Carry May Survive

Another update on the concealed-weapons permit case, Peruta v. County of San Diego.  The Ninth Circuit held en banc rehearing this week.  Panel consisted of Chief Judge Thomas, and Judges Pregerson, Silverman, Graber, McKeown, Fletcher, Paez, Callahan, Bea, Smith, and Owens.  Chief Judge Thomas dissented from the original three-judge panel opinion, authoried by Judge O’Scannlain and joined by Judge Callahan. Continue reading


Ninth Circuit Agrees To En Banc Rehearing in Peruta

Quick update for those of you following the hotly contested Second Amendment case Peruta v. County of San Diego.  Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit agreed to an en banc rehearing.  The Court will take up the issue of whether San Diego County’s “good cause” permitting requirement, governing concealed weapons permits, impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.  The California Attorney General and other groups brought petitions for rehearing after unsuccessfully attempting to intervene in the case last year when the San Diego Sheriff opted not to seek rehearing of the original Opinion, authored by Judge O’Scannlain, and joined by Judge Callahan, with a dissent by Judge Thomas.



Ninth Circuit: Local Governments May Regulate Handgun Storage and Hollow-Point Bullets

The Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.Handgun

We know that now—after decades of uncertainty—because the Supreme Court said so in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

But how far does the Second Amendment extend? Does it prevent a City from regulating the storage of handguns in homes or the sale of ammunition that expands upon impact, referrred to as hollow-point bullets?

In a case decided this week, Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco, No. 12-17803 (Mar. 25, 2014), the Ninth Circuit ruled that those bringing a Second-Amendment challenge to the City and County of San Francisco’s handgun and ammunition regulations were not likely to succeed on the merits.

What exactly was at issue and how did the court reach its conclusions? Continue reading