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The Next Supreme Court Ruling on 2A


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The Supreme Court has not heard a second amendment case in 4 years; not since McDonald v. Chicago in 2010 where the court ruled against federal, state and municipal prohibitions. Last week, Drake v. Jerejian, was up for review by the highest court in the land as it challenged New Jersey's practice of discretionary approval of concelaed firearms permit applications. New Jersey, is a "may issue" state; meaning that approval requires the applicant to demonstrate a specific "need" to be granted approval for a license or permit. Essentially, permit approvals are considered privilages to be granted at the whim of local officials; not a right of all citizens. In fact, New Jersey only approves .02% of all applications. It, along with Hawaii and Maryland are considered "non issue" states because of how difficult it is to get approval.

 

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While seemingly obvious in the affirmative to us, whether or not these laws are restrictive enough to be anti-constitutional is still uncertain from a federal perspective. Drake was looking to get clarification from the Supreme Court on these uncertanties that allow "may issue" laws and others like them at the state and local levels.

 

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While the second ammednment desperately needs this clarification, the Supreme Court is offerend 8,000 cases each year and only accepts 1% of those. They are etremely picky and some pundits believe that Drake was not the right case to make this argument. When the Supreme Court does examine a case/issue, they are disinclined to re-examine it for about 20 years. That being said, the case to offer to the court on these issues needs to be as strong as possible and lead by a formidable legal team. Many consider Drake problematic in these areas. Another case to consider, and thought stronger, is Peruta v County of San Diego where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that San Diego's restrictive policy (of requiring an permit applicant to "provide documention of good cause that distinguishes the applicant from the mainstream and places them in harm's way before issuing a permit) along with California's prohibition on open carry resulted in a violation of law abiding, responsible citizens' right to bear arms. Unless overriden, this decision will force California to become a "shall issue" state. California Attorney General Kamala Harris has asked the Ninth Circuit to intervene in Peruta. If this happens, the case will likely go to the Supreme Court next year or early 2016 and will most likely color the results of the 2016 presidentail election.

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