On Monday, the highest court in the nation turned away a challenge from the state of California regarding carrying guns outside of a person’s home. The decision leaves the restrictions enacted by the San Diego Sheriff’s Office relating to the issuing of concealed weapons permits in place. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch openly disagreed with the choice.
In a statement released on Monday, Thomas and Gorsuch addressed their concerns about the decision, asserting the case raised “important questions” and warning that Second Amendment cases weren’t receiving enough attention from the Supreme Court.
As reported by Fox News, the justices wrote, “The Court’s decision… reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”
The rejected case involved a man from San Diego who claimed that state and county legislation is too restrictive regarding the carrying of a concealed weapon. Local law requires “good cause,” necessitating that the gun owner has a specific reason or justification for carrying the firearm.
With the Supreme Court’s rejection of the case, an earlier decision by a federal appeals court that favored the state remains in place. The appeals court limited its review of the matter to the “good cause” provision only, a move Thomas and Gorsuch attest is “indefensible.”
Discussing the Supreme Court’s reluctance to hear the case, Thomas and Gorsuch wrote, “The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years.” They continued, “This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments.”
The dissenting opinion concluded with a warning to the court: “For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous.”
They went on to say, “But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it. I respectfully dissent.”
Though the high court determined in 2008 the Constitution protected the rights of individuals to own guns, at least for home defense, requests to further clarify the issue of gun rights in the country have since been denied. This stance has allowed states and cities to add additional restrictions, such as those related to permits as well as the ability to own assault rifles.
Currently, over 40 states allow gun owners to be armed in public in some form or fashion.