The Associated Press reports that the Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the NRA to strike down San Francisco’s draconian gun laws. The issue at the heart of the case: the requirement that firearms be kept locked and disassembled in the home – the very mandate the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in DC v. Heller. Today’s ruling essentially gives the lower courts carte blanche to slice and dice the Heller decision to their liking, and uphold blatantly unconstitutional laws depending on the whim of the local judiciary. Also included in the lawsuit was a challenge to San Fransisco’s ban on hollow point bullets . . .
San Francisco isn’t the only jurisdiction that bans hollow point bullets. New Jersey, for example, bans hollow point bullets and actively prosecutes those who bring them into the state. Never mind that hollow point bullets are considered safer than full metal jacket rounds (to bystanders at least). They look scary and therefore need to be banned. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, so the ban stands.
In the years since the Heller decision, the Supreme Court has declined to enforce its dictates. Places like Chicago and New York still ban commonly used firearms like the AR-15 rifle, a specifically protected type of firearm under the Heller decision. The court’s inaction means that the decision goes unenforced and local jurisdictions are able to make up their own rules as they go along.
Given the court’s reluctance to actually step up and enforce their own decision, disappointments such as this one will continue to be the norm, as lower courts re-define what the Supreme Court stated very clearly in their decision.