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Supreme Court on Gun Control: Avoids Controversy, Further Restriction on 2nd Amendment

Supreme Court on Gun Control: Avoids Controversy, Further Restriction on 2nd Amendment

The Supreme Court decided on Monday to turn down hearing a case regarding the right to carry a gun in public.

The case, brought on by five gun owners, challenged a New York law which prohibits concealed weapons in public. Under the law, individuals must prove a need for special protection before being granted a permit to carry a gun in public. A number of other states carry similar laws.

At the root of the issue is whether or not the Supreme Court would play an active role in clarifying rules regarding gun control laws and the 2nd amendment. Gun owners have argued that the 2nd amendment grants them the right to bear arms even outside of a home.

In the Supreme Court's 2008 decision regarding the District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court recognized an individual's right to carry a gun in self-defense, but limited that right to within the gun owner's home. It was also the first time for the Court to acknowledge that the 2nd amendment could bear restrictions.

"In the Heller decision, the Court emphasized that the personal right it was recognizing for the first time was not an 'absolute' right, and that gun ownership could be subjected to 'reasonable' regulations," the SCOTUSblog noted.

Thus far, the Supreme Court has failed to go any further into the gun controversy, while lower courts still appear split on the issue.

"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court's majority.

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