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California Gun Waiting Period Let Stand by Supreme Court

California Gun Waiting Period Let Stand by Supreme Court”

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a case challenging a California law that imposes a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases whether or not a background check on buyers has already been completed or they've bought firearms previously.

The action Tuesday came less than a week after a gunman in Florida killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the District Court on appeal, upholding the regulation based on what it called the "common sense understanding" that a 10-day "cooling off" period for gun buyers can help to reduce gun violence.

"If this case involved one of the court's more favored rights, I sincerely doubt we would have denied certiorari", Thomas said.

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Justice Clarence Thomas issued a 14-page dissent in the background check case.

He said that California made no "attempt to defend a 10-day waiting period", and noted that the background-check process creates a natural 24-hour waiting period for 80 percent of purchasers. Writing in dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas faulted his colleagues for their "inaction" and for turning the Second Amendment into "a disfavored right in this Court".

The waiting period gives a gun buyer inclined to use it for an impulsive objective a "cooling off" period before obtaining it, which has been shown in studies to reduce handgun suicides and homicides, the state said in a legal filing.

In 2008 and again in 2010, the Supreme Court struck down ordinances in Washington, D.C., and Chicago that prohibited the private possession of firearms on the grounds these hand-gun bans violated the Second Amendment. And California's waiting period applies to new gun purchases even if the owner already possesses another legal weapon. He criticized his colleagues for declining to take up a significant gun case in the past decade. Lower federal courts, in the mean time, have adopted a fairly narrow view of the Heller and McDonald decisions, affirming a raft of gun control measures.

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Two California residents, Jeff Silvester and Brandon Combs, who already own guns legally, challenged the application of law along with two nonprofits: The Calguns Foundation Inc. and The Second Amendment Foundation Inc.

Thomas' primary grievance with the lower court's decision in Silvester is he thinks that the court of appeals should have started with a stronger presumption against gun regulation. As apparent examples of rights without a constitutional basis, he cited Ninth Circuit rulings on same-sex marriage - later upheld by the Supreme Court - and abortion.

A lawsuit by the NRA and other firearms advocates argued that the fee placed an unjustifiable financial burden on Californians exercising their constitutional rights.

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