U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Two Second Amendment Cases


Charlotte, NC –-(Ammoland.com)-  On Monday February 24th 2014, the United States Supreme Court declined to review two NRA cases raising Second Amendment issues, NRA v. BATFE and NRA v. McCraw, both of which concerned the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding adults between the ages of 18 and 21.

The NRA v. BATFE case asked the Court to determine the constitutionality of the federal law prohibiting handgun sales by licensed dealers to adults 18-21 years old. The law effectively creates a nationwide, categorical ban on young adults’ access to what the Court has previously described as “the quintessential self-defense weapon.” The NRA’s McCraw case asked the Court to consider the validity of Texas’s prohibition on adults 18-21 years old publicly carrying licensed firearms. The High Court’s refusal to hear these cases unfortunately leaves in place the lower courts’ opinions upholding the bans.

Despite requests by the NRA for the Supreme Court to review Second Amendment cases over the years, the High Court has ruled on Second Amendment issues only twice in recent history. The first case was 2008's Heller v. District of Columbia, which confirmed that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right and struck down the District’s ban on the possession of handguns in the home. The second, McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court made clear that the right it recognized in Heller protects against infringement by local and state governments as well as the federal government.

Since those decisions came down there has been a lot of litigation challenging state and local gun control laws across the country, including many NRA-sponsored cases. Many lower courts have done everything possible to minimize and limit the impact of the Heller and McDonald decisions, practically thumbing their noses at Heller and daring the Supreme Court to clarify some outstanding issues. Cases from around the country have been jockeying for position to get another Second Amendment ruling from the High Court, but so far the Supreme Court has turned them all down.

There are also several other NRA-supported cases that may be petitioned to the Supreme Court in the near future, including challenges to the Connecticut, New York, and Colorado gun bans passed last year and several cases in California.

In a tremendous recent victory, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Peruta v. County of San Diego that there is a fundamental right to bear arms outside the home for self-defense  and struck down San Diego, California’s restrictive scheme for issuing licenses to carry in public.

San Diego County Sheriff Gore has announced that he will not seek either rehearing by an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit or Supreme Court review of the Peruta decision. But the Ninth Circuit could decide to rehear the case on its own accord. If the Ninth Circuit reverses the Peruta decision, the plaintiffs will ask the Supreme Court to review that decision. We will better know the chances of that happening within the next month. So stay tuned.

Two other NRA-supported California cases that may also be on track for Supreme Court review were argued and submitted to the Ninth Circuit in October, and a decision is due any day.  Mckay v. Hutchens challenges the Orange County California Sheriff’s refusal to issue licenses to carry absent a showing of special need. And Jackson v. San Francisco challenges San Francisco’s ordinances requiring that handguns be locked away within the home and prohibiting the sale of self-defense (hollow-point) ammunition. In the various petitions that have come before the Supreme Court since Heller and McDonald, the Court has yet to be faced with a case like Jackson, which is very similar to the facts of the Heller and McDonald cases.

With so many requests concerning Second Amendment issues piling up in the Supreme Court, something has to give. Some speculate that the Court may be waiting to settle a particular question that it has not seen in any of the petitions for review so far. But whether that is the case, and what that question might be, is pure conjecture. What is certain is that the Supreme Court will continue to be asked to resolve Second Amendment questions, and the NRA will continue to fight to make that happen.


To assist in the legal fight against attacks on gun owners’ rights and to help reach the U.S. Supreme Court in these and other cases, please donate to the NRA Legal Action Project today.

Second Amendment supporters should be careful about supporting litigation efforts promised by other individuals and groups without access to the necessary funding, relationships, firearm experts, and experienced lawyers on the NRA’s national legal team. The NRA’s team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys and scholars has the resources, skill, and expertise to maximize the potential for victory.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

  • 5 thoughts on “U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Two Second Amendment Cases

    1. 3-8-2014 at 1140AM. If you actually bother to read the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights,
      it is clear that the founders and writers intended neither reduction or abolition of this
      right. What is it about this amendment that is so hard to understand ? Gregg.

    2. No, the Court is not abdicating its responsibility, the NRA is bringing the wrong cases to the Court. The Supreme Court is not going to waste its time on suits involving peripheral issues, the kind the NRA is bringing. What the NRA needs to do is go right for the essential. The Second Amendment and the two recent decisions by the Court recognize the right of individual citizens to possess firearms. The individual states are attempting to nullify this right by passing local laws that make it so onerous and burdensome to purchase firearms that the US Federal right is effectively null and void. Thus, depending on what state one lives in determines whether an individual has and may exercise that right. This is similar to Southern states using closed primaries, poll taxes and literacy tests to circumvent the Fifteenth Amendment right to vote. The NRA needs to hit this head on and stop wasting the Court’s time with penny ante suits and the members money on suits that have little material bearing on the essence of the Second Amendment. Cut the BS, NRA, and do what needs to be done.

    3. “Jeff” perfect! One question. How much longer do we stomach what is what I call the “unraveling” of what the founders envisioned for all of us? I’m in San Diego. Have lived here all my life and between the 2nd amendment attack to our having to shove down our throats all the life style changes (LGBT)

    4. The supreme court is abdicating it’s responsibility by not simply declaring that The Second Amendment was ironclad in the wording and terminology of it’s day!! The justices must realize that any underminig that they ok will reveal them as part of a wider scheme to change the way we are governed, and We The People will see thru it and consider the court moot!! After all, we seen justice roberts change the meaning of wording in obamacare so it would be upheld!! Our eyes are open and We The People don’t like what we are seeing!!

    5. You know that whenever the NRA issues a press release it is lying to you. A decision in McKay v. Hutchens is not due “any day.” The case was stayed on November 12, 2013 “[P]ending resolution of the following cases: United States v. Chovan, No. 11-50107 (submitted 2/15/12); Peruta v. County of San Diego, No. 10-56971 12/6/12); Richards v. Prieto, No. 11-16255 (submitted 12/6/12); and Baker v. Kealoha, No. 12-16258 (submitted 12/6/12).”

      Note that all of these cases have to become final, one way or the other, before the stay in McKay is lifted.

      Also, there were four Second Amendment cases, not two, that were recently turned down by the US Supreme Court.


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