The Supreme Court Won’t Strike Down Gun Control Laws—for Now

It’s another big victory for gun control groups.

People with weapons march in front of the Capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 1.Gerry Broome/AP

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The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up any new cases related to state gun laws in its next term, effectively killing nearly a dozen challenges to state gun control measures. It’s a somewhat surprising decision for the Supreme Court—and another big victory for gun control advocates—after the court previously declined to issue a ruling on a New York City gun regulation in April.

Among the cases the court passed up were challenges to open carry restrictions in Maryland and New Jersey. They were similar to the New York case, which the court declared moot in April after the city government, fearing that a Supreme Court ruling could threaten gun control laws across the country, reversed its law barring residents from taking guns outside of the city. Three of the court’s conservative judges dissented from that ruling, though gun rights groups found encouragement in the ruling by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote that the Supreme Court should address the Second Amendment “soon.” That suggested that the court might take up one of the pending Second Amendment lawsuits.

The court has been reluctant to take up any new Second Amendment disputes since its landmark 2008 decision in Heller v. District of Columbia, which affirmed the right to keep a gun at home for personal protection. But with a stronger conservative majority on the Supreme Court in the Trump era, gun rights advocates were hoping that the court would make a ruling on one of the many challenges to new state gun control laws. For now, at least, that won’t happen.

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