WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will not hear a constitutional challenge to a gun control law enacted in Connecticut following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
The case sought to overturn Public Law 13-3, passed in April 2013, that placed additional restrictions on gun possession and sales.
The law requires state-issued certificates of eligibility to purchase any long guns or ammunition, requires universal background checks on all firearm sales, bans 183 specific firearms from sale and includes a ban on sales of gun magazines exceeding a 10-round capacity.
Described as an “assault weapons ban,” the law prohibits the sale or possession of rifles that accept detachable magazines and at least one additional specified feature, such as a pistol grip or telescoping stock.
The Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League challenged the law in 2013, arguing that the law violated the Second Amendment. Scott Wilson, president of the CCDL, called the decision “unjust,” stating that “the firearms the State has chosen to ban are very frequently used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as home defense, hunting and target shooting.”
“We fully intend to renew our challenge to Connecticut’s blatantly unconstitutional ban as soon as there are five Justices sitting on the Supreme Court committed to the proper understanding of the Second Amendment,” he said.
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen argued that “sensible gun safety legislation works,” seeing the Supreme Court’s decision as an affirmation that the state’s regulations are “reasonable, sensible and lawful.”
“States like Connecticut have shown that — despite the unwillingness of Congress to take the necessary steps to address the serious problem of gun violence in our country — we will take strong and decisive action that makes progress in keeping guns out of the hands of those who seek to commit acts of violence without infringing on the rights of sportsmen and those who seek to keep guns for personal protection,” he said.
The law was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit last October. Writing for the court, Judge José A. Cabranas noted that “gun-control legislation ‘need not strike at all evils at the same time’ to be constitutional.”
The court’s decision comes a week after the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, which became the deadliest shooting in the nation’s history. Since then, there has been a push from citizens and lawmakers for tighter gun control laws, including a nearly 15-hour filibuster by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) demanding a vote on new measures.
A Second Amendment case has not been heard by the Supreme Court since District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, which affirmed the right for an individual to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, including home defense.