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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.

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      • Said it before and will keep saying it. Civil rights will always be in peril, one step from extinction, so long as CA is free to trample our rights. Break CA and you break the gun control movement and take a gigantic step forward in civil rights.

        If you want to win the long game all money spent in fighting gun control should be spent in CA.

        • That’s the hard part because damn near everybody’s first reaction to a compliant about gun rights from a Californian is the standard “move to a free state” etc.

          We get damn near no support.

        • the facts indicate otherwise, Texas and Maine, for example became more free this last week. more likely states get to decide for themselves. Texas and other pro-gun states never needed Heller and won’t miss it at all. Californians are toast as far as RKBA now. Apres this, le deluge.

        • Danilushka, no one is free until we are all free. You are basically pinning the future on your rights on simple demographics, which may or may not change to our favor.

        • >> Danilushka, no one is free until we are all free.

          Who are “we all” here? If you refuse to stop at the state border, why stop at the national one?

      • I’m going to suggest that any Californians interested in home defense become very proficient at archery. Maybe get a crossbow, or is that illegal there too?

    • Because the Supreme Court is balanced on a razor’s edge. The Court is split pretty much down the middle with Kennedy being the swing vote. Chief Justice Roberts was able to secure Kennedy’s vote on favor of Heller by including the “reasonable restrictions” language. Without it, Kennedy would have voted against Heller.

      With the current court make up, Roberts has to be very selective about what Second Amendment cases the Court hears to avoid further damage at the Federal level. The Weasel room “reasonable restrictions” gives the district courts allows for regional “interpretations” of the Second Amendment that have resulted in the patchwork of different firearms rules and regulations at the state and district court level.

      And until the makeup of the Supreme Court changes to a more Second Amendment friendly make up, this is probably going to be the normal state of affairs for the foreseeable future.

      • I agree with your analysis. They may also be waiting on a “perfect case” and/or waiting for a case they can settle more questions. It’s slow politics on the court.

      • This is exactly why the next presidential election is make or break for gun rights. The next 2 appointments will more than likely be coming from that administration, and god help us if a Democrat is in the oval office.

        • Exactly! One more Kagan/Sotomayor and we are screwed. We need Ted Cruz on the court.

        • There are still Democrats who support the full Bill of Rights, just as there are still Republicans who do, so blanket statements should be avoided.

          An important question to ask is why we have been steadily getting more and more politicians who aren’t enthused about citizens with arms. To figure that out, we’d have to look at the 0.2% of the country who serve as a de facto screening committee for the folks we the people actually get to vote for: the campaign funders. It turns out that this tiny elite have in common that they’ve never had to worry about someone attacking them due to one or another effect of privilege.

          Until we end this system of screening our candidates, we’re not going to be allowed to elect those who serve everyone; we’ll continue to be stuck with those who spend one-third of their time in the legislature doing fundraising and thus listening to the concerns of that elite.

      • These District and Circuit Courts seem to keep making up their own Law as they go along! They could easily refer to settled case Law like Heller, and throw these Stupid Infringements right out of Court! However, this is The Liberal’s only hope of Banning Private Gun Ownership in this Country, that is for a Liberal SCOTUS, to essentially Rewrite The 2nd Amendment to Our Constitution! I wish they would hurry up and try it, I want to partake in the 2nd Civil War!! And I’m getting sort of Old!!

        • Government has already essentially rewritten the Constitution many times over. The People, so far, apparently don’t have the desire to be free. I’ve noticed that as patriots age they feel the urgency to correct tyranny in this generation. Each generation has that duty and opportunity. Once passed it all seems to reset with less constitutional protection and a learning curve for the next. A revolution happened and there was maximum Liberty. It looks like it was a downhill slide from there until the next revolution. Unfortunately, if the young don’t wake up to that reality then our constitutional republic is doomed.

      • I might have bought the “Roberts is just being careful” line before a few of the recent rulings, where he took a dive when he did have the votes to win. That he’s being blackmailed seems at least plausible.

      • Also the California law was different from DC. The DC law required firearms be stored ALWAYS. The CA law required locked storage when not in use. So Basicly you can wear a gun on your hip at home. Not s bad idea.

      • A well-thought-out, reasoned comment with which I agree completely.

        The problem out here in the People’s Republic of California is that we are doomed to Blue Solutions.

        We need an educated electorate to challenge these extravaagant usurpations of the SEcond Amendment, and that happens through the media. And that won’t happen until a few more George Stephanapolises bite the dust.

    • Because they’re possessed of Ivy League law degrees, and you’re not.

      • If push comes to shove, I’d rather have a .338 Lapua, multiple dozens of guns, combat experience and 40,000+ rounds of ammo than an Ivy League degree.

        • Dr. Ben Carson commented recently that the best part of having a degree from Yale means he will never be impressed by someone with a degree from Yale…

  1. the underlying legal concept here is that somehow (earlier case law) constitutionally recognized personal, natural, human, civil rights can be limited/restricted/compromised/eliminated whenever the government has a “compelling interest” in doing so. this is simply another in a long history of the supreme court determining that maintaining the public tranquility/safety is beyond constitutional constraint. promoting the “general welfare” almost always trumps enumerated rights. so….

    any more questions about whether limits exist on 1A, 2A, and the rest of them?

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but rejecting an appeal =/= a ruling. Is it good? No, but it’s not the end either.

    • They’ve been refusing to clarify or expand Heller for some time now, and now they’ve gutted it themselves. No, this is bad, very bad for gun owners in states that were relying on using Heller to overturn infringements.For free states, it matters not unless they turn Blue in the distant future.

      • Denying cert does NOT set a legal precedent for other courts, it doesn’t even mean SCOTUS has an opinion on the matter. If you read interviews from Appellate court judges they often try and explain this, I know everyone wants the judiciary to jump in and rule all gun laws unconstitutional and throw Obama in jail along with Cuomo and the other libtards and then ride off on a unicorn but it doesn’t work like that and never will. Anyways if this went to SCOTUS it COULD have undermined aspects of heller, but it can’t if they just deny cert.

    • Yes this is factually true, this is a denial of cert and holds no legal sway.

      What is disappointing about it is that there was a dissent to the denial, and only Thomas and Scalia had their names on it. That means that only 2 out of 9 are truly in our camp, the others are either against Heller, or at the very least are unknowns.

      There could still be a little bit of gaming it here, it takes 4 judges to grant cert. If the 4 strong from Heller (Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Alito) were to all put their names on the dissent, that would have meant that they had the votes to give Cert, but then were unsure if the flippy floppy Kennedy would stay on the side of Heller. So instead only two of them put forth a dissent, and they left Heller alive to fight another day rather than risk it all now.

      It’s tough, I’m actually pretty sure I went through the stages of grief in about a 2 hour time period this morning when I read the news on this. But I’m ready to push onwards now.

      • I think you’ve got it. If they thought Kennedy would vote in favor of SF because he sees their laws as reasonable, then better to let it lie in SF than get the wrong decision and loose it all over.

      • A very fine argument, very well put and I hope you’re right. This court really is a mystery and increasingly Byzantine in its reasoning – didn’t another Appeals Court just find the same law in DC unconstitutional? They’ve surprised us before, why not again. Even so, I think a wholesale reversal would be too much – they just don’t change precedent this fast – or at least haven’t so far.

        • You’re thinking about the Peruta/Palmer/Wren cases. That’s about Carry in public, but will be in the news very big soon, the Peruta En Banc trial in the 9th Appellate Court is in a week.

        • Increasingly Byzantine? When I took ConLaw, it seemed to me that the court would make a decision and then work backward from there to decide on the “appropriate” level of scrutiny.

      • Part of the problem, is the San Fransisco law is not the DC law struck down in Heller. The DC law said you had to have your gun disassembled and locked up period. The San Fransisco law states it must be disassembled and locked up “while not in use.” If I recall, the San Fransisco law allows for a loaded weapon in the home ready for self defense, as that is in use. I believe the gist of the law is home carry or lock it up, so it doesn’t really negate Heller.

        • The San Fransisco law states it must be disassembled and locked up “while not in use.”

          No, there is no requirement to dissemble the gun, only that it be trigger-locked or put in a safe, and it can be fully loaded when in the safe.

        • Can you lock your front door, and call your house a “safe”? Yup, I just live in a safe… That’s why the front door has a combination lock.

  3. could be multiple reasons. as i understand it, they denied the appeal. that doesn’t mean they endorse the power court’s viewpoint. usually it means they want the lower courts to flesh-out the opposing interpretations of that particular jurisprudence, until the battle lines are drawn. then they step in.

    of course, i haven’t been a real lawyer in a while, so i’ll defer to one

    • Hopefully that toro doesn’t smell fishy. But this cr*p sure as hell does.

  4. Crap! It is frustrating to see the court mush around on stuff instead of sticking to what was clearly decided just in the last few years.

  5. The post headline is misleading (seems to be the new TTAG style) . SCOTUS refused to hear the case, hence letting lower court decision stand, FOR NOW ! scotus did not consider nor rule on the case.

    • Thanks for the clarification Tommy. Let’s try to keep the headlines and writeup as accurate as possible. Not hearing the case is indeed very different as ruling on the case.

      In any “case” sorry to “hear” it for those living in that area. It probably won’t embolden rights-opponents as they’re already pretty bold. Certainly doesn’t clear up the “how much is too much” legal argument either.

    • The Supreme Court only can hear a handful of cases and they choose which ones. This could just as easily mean they are waiting for other courts to weigh in or they are waiting for a different set of facts.

      Failing to rule is not the same as ruling against.

    • And add to that, the HP sales an was not part of the pet for cert. Since that was a commercial regulation, it was likely to be upheld. There was no point in weakening the storage appeal with an appeal of a loser.

  6. The size of a government and the freedoms which it’s citizens share have an inversely proportional relationship.

    Still true today as it has ever been.

  7. San Francisco’s ordinance does not ban possession or use of hollow points, it bans the SALE of hollow points within the City. Since there is only one gun store in the city anyway (and which is limited to carrying a paltry supply of ammo as it is), that portion of the ordinance will have little impact.

    The most disturbing aspect of this rejection is that it apparently only got two votes for review (and two dissents to the denial) in a case that was a slap in the face to the Supreme Court and a direct defiance of its Heller ruling.

    • Since the primary purpose of the second amendment is for military use of arms and since hollow point bullets are forbidden by treaty to be used for military purposes, it’s hard to argue against this ban.

      • The fundamental purpose of the 2A is self-defense, not military. The right of self-defense rises up to and includes the right to defend oneself and one’s community against a tyrannical government.

        The 1899 convention bans hollow point in wars between signatory states. The US is not a signatory but is respectful of the ban anyway.

        The 1899 convention does not ban hollow point in civil wars. That is why Homeland Security is fully empowered to buy all the hollow-point it wishes to put down the militia if needs be.

        The whole idea of frowning on hollow point is nonsensical at this juncture in history. If you are not allowed to use hollow point either:
        1. – use a larger calibre (e.g., .45); or,
        2. – shoot your target 2 or 3 times (e.g., 5.56 NATO)

        Disparaging hollow-point is a safety risk to bystanders. Moreover, Abood argues that the target is more likely to be stopped but not bleed-out if you hit him once or twice with hollow-point. If you are constrained to ball then you are more likely going to need to shoot a few more rounds to stop him. Thereupon, he will bleed faster and will be less likely to survive the ride to the hospital.

      • “Since the primary purpose of the second amendment is for military use of arms and since hollow point bullets are forbidden by treaty to be used for military purposes, it’s hard to argue against this ban.”


        1- The 2A is for the civilians to keep the government in check. “The right of the people…

        The people, not the ‘military’…

        2- The hollowpoints are for civilian use, not military.

        3- Hollowpoints, designed to expand (and stay) inside the body, are safer in a city environ as that lessens the chance they will strike anyone else not involved with the confrontation.

        For the love of all that’s decent, Skyler, IT”S FOR THE CHILDREN!


        • Keeping the government in check is the purpose of the militia, which is a military force and it consists of citizens, and in the U.S. it is defined as all males between certain ages that I’m not going to bother to look up. That is what I meant by military. My point is that because the military agreed not to use hollow point ammo it is a hard case to make that laws can’t be made banning others from using hollow point ammo.

          I think it’s silly to have such a ban, but “silly” is not a good standard to argue in court.

      • It is hard to argue against this ban as it a regulation of commercial activity, and such activities are not entitled to the same constitutional deference as individual rights. In fact, they are likely to be judged on the lowest level of scrutiny, meaning that if there is any rational basis to uphold the law, it passes.

        • Mark, do you have a link to the two justice’s dissent?

          Who were they and what was the gist of their dissent?

  8. Very misleading and disingenuous title. Previous posters have spelled it out already, but it deserves reiteration. The fact that the Supreme Court refused to hear a case does not in any way, either explicitly or by implication, endorse one party’s side over the other.

    Yes, I am one of many who are waiting for the Supreme Court to take a case that will settle the Second Amendment debate once and for all. And with all the disagreements in the lower courts, Lord knows we need it.

    And they know it too. But a storage requirement and hollow point ban, in one city, while both unconstitutional, are small potatoes. It’s something for the lower courts to hash out. There will come along a case that the SC will have no choice but to take. But this is not it.

    Also, the journalistic integrity seems to be slipping, with titles such as this meant to be nothing more than click-bait.

    • RF has painted himself into a corner with TTAG. He’s spent so much time and effort gearing the site to an extremist few cop haters, .gov haters that he’s likely losing the mainstream. In order to keep hits up and revenue coming he has to get tricksy with his bait.

      TTAG could be so much more than what it’s slipping into.

      • In all seriousness, no sarcasm or criticism intended … What / who do you suggest reading as an alternative?

        I’m always looking for a good read…

        • Don’t know. This is the only site I’ve spent any time on. I was new to computers a couple of years ago when I stumbled upon this site.

        • I find to be pretty balanced. It is not a blog, but a discussion board, well moderated and very active. There are certainly some “Chicken Little” and hard-liner types there also, but there are usually some cooler heads that call them on it. Often news doesn’t break as quickly there as it does here, but the topics are more varied and of course you can be the OP and start your own discussions there.

        • yee, doing what he can to drive supporters for 2a away. A usefull idiot to kapo bloomberg and demanding mommies.

        • I didn’t know fawning obeisance to government employees is a prerequisite for supporting the 2nd Amendment.

          Oh wait, 2A was written to guarantee means of self-defense against government employees.

        • So yee, dummies like you drive away .gov employees of which there are millions. Plus their families, millions more. How many vets in America? 11 million? All x .gov employees.

          Yeah, you’re a usefull idiot for the anti gunners. Driving millions of potential supporters away. You do more damage to the progun cause in one comment than I could voting anti gun for my whole life. And I vote pro gun.

          You’re past a usefull idiot, yee. You’re poison to pro gun rights.

        • Numbers imply righteousness! It’s like saying big government is legitimate because it is big. Good one. 🙂

          You spent years working for an organization that has relentlessly attacked 2A. One wonders how my commentary can possibly do more damage to 2A than your chosen career.

        • Sorry to interrupt you guys character thrashings (especially when you don’t even know each other), but I overheard the word… “obeisance.” It was pretty funny and is a rather underused word in our time. I want to thank you gentlemen for ultimately bringing the conversation to the use of this little delight while you guys duke it out.

        • What other word can explain the burning butthurt expressed by the bootlickers when RF posited the idea that the Waco biker incident could have gone down in a way that did not completely conform to the police PR hack’s pejorative statements of presumed guilt by association?

        • Numbers are needed to win the fight, yee. Plain and simple. And while I was working in the belly of the beast I always voted my guns. I always yucked it up about gun rights and in over 40 years I introduced an untold number of folks to the joy of shooting.

          How does your track record stand next to that?

        • Oh yeah? You taught them shooting? That’s nice. Did you tell them that 2A is the bulwark against government tyranny, or did they all become fudds and soccer moms who say crap like “I support 2A, but… evil black assault rifles”.

          The vast majority of government employees believe in the total power of the state. Chances are any government worker you teach to shoot will gleefully turn their guns on American citizens when ordered, like good little goose-steppers.

      • LOL. Nick steps outside his expertise in the discussion of law and makes a mistake. Now all of a sudden – TTAG is host to disingenuous marketing, extremists (yes it was actually said), and anti-government haters.

        You guys are a hoot.

      • I don’t see TTAG slipping into anything. I find a very broad scope of articals and topics discussed here. Like any blog the number of people who comment are a very small minority of readers.

      • JWM, since you have admitted to being new to the innertubz, and relatively little experience on blogs, I’m going to cut you some slack on your misinterpretation of the ledes here, which if you had been reading awhile is more about RFs snark and deliberately provocative to generate comments, imho. I don’t mind, as I’ve found comments to be 50% of the value of TTAG, because of the very high quality of insight by a large number of regular posters who know what they are talking abiut, cops, vets, professional gunners, gunsmiths, lawyers all who take the time to patiently share with noobs like me. Its fairly rare, even in the gun forum world, and even more rare to find a relatively congenial and diverse set of posters, as we have here.

        With the exception of personal attacks on the editors and policy, theres not much else except the normal wordpress filtering of potty mouth words. The rest is peer pressure, or better – input by readers who make the time to post positive examples of what they want to see more of, first in their own comments (thank you for the tip on other places you like) and even better, including articles submitted by readers who take the time to make a reasoned well thought out argument. That includes from very well respected long time bloggers elsewhere who have a lot to share, and do, here. That reminds me to go back and visit them so its not a zero sum game, its 1+1= 3 synergy.

        Despite some trolls and typical ocd gunny circular firing squads that gleefully self organize over The One True HD handgun to Rule Them All ( clearly decided as the G23, of course), the goal and feeling here is “the clean, well lit room”…(Hemingway). And, its free.

        Think of it as the neighbor hosting a bbq. Its pretty rude to take the free meal, and then rip the host for his cookin’.
        Offer to bring some of your own, next time, to make your point.

        PS: you are gonna learn another rule for newbz on the innertubz, if you keep going around and round with Yee.
        “Don’t feed the trolls…”. No harm, no fault…I’ve been there too, as I am guessing many other also.

        Thanks for reading, and your replies.

    • “The fact that the Supreme Court refused to hear a case does not in any way, either explicitly or by implication, endorse one party’s side over the other.”

      Not quite correct: it clearly sets legal precedent for the lower court decision and, in this case, that means the anti-gun side prevails.

      More concerning is that The SCOTUS may have second thoughts on enforcing Heller to states that don’t want to follow its line of reasoning as they’ve turned down quite a few chances now.

      • No, it does not set legal precedent.

        The lower court’s decision set the precedent. Courts do not set precedent by *not* doing something. Only the rulings they issue are used as precedent.

    • Not sure I see any difference between “not rejecting” and” upholding”. Refusal to make a decision is a decision. For the SC to not explicitly override lower courts is an admission the SC does not see a significant constitutional issue, beyond that of not interfering with court decisions made nearest the issue at hand. The SC could have reviewed and instructed the lower courts to decide in concert with the SC decision that rejected the D.C. regulation identical to Frisco regulations.

      The running theory of which cases the SC takes is that there must be a sufficient number of incidents where government intrusion is so capricious that the SC can no longer ignore the chaos in the states. “sufficient number” is subjective and often politically motivated. In Brown vs. Board of Education, the SC unanimously ruled “separate but equal” unconstitutional. The unanimity was reached for political reasons (because dissenting justices were persuaded that a split decision would harm the reputation of the court, leave the country with lingering doubts about the legitimacy of the decision, and would work to heal the rifts. Note that unanimity was based not on law, but perceptions and feelings.

      The SC abrogated its responsibility to see that its earlier rulings were enforced. Shirked its constitutionally assigned duties. They are likely waiting to let matters percolate, or waiting for Hilary to appoint new justices so a more solid block can vote to allow individual rights to once again be relegated to inferior to the needs of government to control the populace.

      • There is a world of difference between “not rejecting” and “upholding.” You’re trying to say that the fact that they refused to hear a case is the same as hearing it and upholding the defendant’s position? Give me a break.

        It means nothing more than they’ve got bigger fish to fry, and, for the time being, it’s up to the lower courts.

        • The decision not to decide means an erroneous lower court decision stands. The SC had the option to reinforce their earlier decisions, they chose not. This means citizens must comply with lower court rulings. Deciding not to reject means the SC finds no significance to a decision directly flaunting an articulated right under the constitution. When someone commits an error in your presence, and you are responsible for making a correction and do nothing to correct it, you de facto endorse, support, uphold (or whatever) the error.

          The SC may have actually decided to directly and formally endorse the lower court ruling. That is what the SC is for. 2A supporters may have permanently lost one of their rights. I don’t think it is proper for the SC to decline to rule because they think the vote might not go the way half of them want. A dodge is a dodge. Did you know that the Chief Justice informed Abraham Lincoln that suing the seceded states might not result is Lincoln’s favor? The Chief Justice told Lincoln that based on the constitution, the seceded states had apparently done nothing wrong? Court evaded, dodged and the result was the second American revolution.

  9. It looks more and more like both sides of the issue, on the court, are afraid of what a single swing voting justice would do if push came to shove.

  10. They didn’t reject the argument, they refused to hear the appeal. a petition for petition for certiorari. That’s a pretty big difference.

    • Not in practice it doesn’t, only to judicial needs does the difference matter. SF won, gun owners lost. That is a fact not just an interpretation.

        • Correct. You cannot cite a denial of cert for the proposition that the Supreme Court approves the lower court decision. The 9th Circuit Decision stands, but it is not binding on any other circuit, while a Supreme Court decision is binding on all courts.

  11. Strictly speaking, HPs are not banned in New Jersey. If I’m not mistaken, it is illegal to carry them in your concealed carry pistol, but since nobody here has a permit to carry, it becomes a moot point. HPs are legal to keep at home and you can take them with you to the range.

    • Yes but even in a violent home invasion with an armed assailant, we are not allowed to use them against them. The best we’ve got is EFMJ’s such as Federal Guard Dog, and polymer tipped bullets such as Hornady Critical Duty/Defense.

      • Given NJ’s idiotic gun laws, I usually stay away from HPs, but where does it say you can’t use them for self defense? I’ve never heard any LGS clerk saying ‘you can purchase these, just don’t use them for protection at home.” And I don’t see anything like that in the NJ Admin Code. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  12. Odd, in other articles I read, it was that guns, if not actively worn in the home, have to be stored in a lock-box when not is use, or have a trigger lock, but could be kept assembled. I think that was the compromise legislation, as opposed to the idiotic disassemble law that they initially tried.

  13. “The post headline is misleading (seems to be the new TTAG style) . SCOTUS refused to hear the case, hence letting lower court decision stand, FOR NOW ! scotus did not consider nor rule on the case.”

    “RF has painted himself into a corner with TTAG. He’s spent so much time and effort gearing the site to an extremist few cop haters, .gov haters that he’s likely losing the mainstream. In order to keep hits up and revenue coming he has to get tricksy with his bait.

    TTAG could be so much more than what it’s slipping into.”

    It’s the perfect business model, IF you are trying to sell out for a big payday.

    I offer TTAC as an example. 😉

  14. I agree with the many previous posters. It seems that TTAG–to the extent it wants to cover legal news–should utilize an attorney to analyze these type of stories. There is much more involved in granting or denying certiorari. There is also much more involved in the district court and federal court of appeals decision than what can be gleaned from an AP news article (which, it seems, is often the reference for TTAG’s legal commentary).

    Nick does an outstanding job on gun and gear reviews; let him stick to his expertise and outsource these types of articles to those better qualified.

    • nick calls ’em as he sees ’em. something gets his attention, he tells us about it. we can care or not. but keeping the POTG alerted and agitated is a good thing. another name is “eternal vigilance”. the ruling class in this country need to know that nothing they do goes without review and heated feedback. if the politburo thinks they can count on a sleepy serfdom, they will gladly give us what they think we deserve.

  15. This is an interesting case and I can see why SCOTUS might have decided to duck it.

    Did SF infringe upon the right to “bare” a handgun in the home, loaded and ready for self-defense? No; that’s fine with SF. And, it conforms to Heller. (Those under 18 will have to make due with a long gun I suppose.)

    Did SF infringe upon the right to “keep” a handgun in the home while it is not born by an 18-year-old person? Had it prescribed an onerous vessel in which the handgun might have to be obliged to be so kept then a strong argument could be made that it was an infringement. Assuming it required no more than that it be “locked” but did not specify an onerous standard for the lock or vessel then it (arguably) didn’t infringe upon “keeping” a handgun in the home.

    Keep it locked or bear it; each is fine. Just don’t leave it lying around. That is all the 9th Circuit said; and, SCOTUS refrained from either upholding or striking that down.

    If there is an infringement here then it’s apt to be found on the nightstand while its owner is sleeping. That would seem to be forbidden.

    If no one but the owner lives in the home it’s hard to see how the police power would extend to keeping a gun on the nightstand; but, then, it’s hard to see how the ordinance would be enforced.

    If minors (under 18) lived in the home then it’s apt to withstand scrutiny under the police power and it’s not hard to imagine SF enforcing the ordinance.

    If only adults live in the home it’s a toss-up.

    I think SCOTUS is probably looking for something more meaty before it weighs in on 2A again.

    • A lot of people say that (the glass is half full), but the months go by with no action and the water in the glass is leaking out. We are one judicial appointment away from never strengthening Heller and instead gutting it.

    • @MarkPA, your non-hysterical analysis is spot-on.

      FWIW, this is the same set of constraints that I am subject to in MA — and I’ve found it to be a complete non-issue.

      And as I’ve posted before, SCOTUS is out of the 2A business for a while, and maybe a long while.

    • Superb analysis, Mark! You caught my thoughts and more and said it better.

      About the only issue the Court could have considered with this would have been the definition of a gun being “in use” in the home — does it have to be worn or carried, or can it be in a quickly accessible place when a resident is home? And that’s not enough to make the case worth taking: there was no room to expand on or clarify Heller, since the decision fits it easily. So they let it alone.

    • +1. Jackson is an appeal on a PI on a municipal ordinance, with no splits on the few safe storage law decisions out there. From the “traditional” judicial restraint of the Holmesian perspective (Roberts) this case does not offer the platform for resolving big enough issues of national scope, and those with decades of appellate experience before SCOTUS, including 2A law have said it could go either way, cert granted for Summary Reversal or Cert Denied.

      What we all hoped for, was a signal before Peruta/Richards, due for orals on June 16th in the 9th CA. We didn’t get the outcome, but we got a signal, and a powerful one, from Justice Thomas, whom per some articles I’ve read recently, is becoming very influential in the Roberts Court.

      What the judges of the 9th CA will do is up for debate, but what is pretty widely agreed upon, is that Peruta/Richards contains the broader issues needed, and is ripe for cert granted for plenary review by SCOTUS in the fall term.

      Jackson has gone from being a relatively minor and arcane issue, about what ultra-liberal nitwits decided in the tiny urban enclave of San Francisco, about an issue the average lay person could care less about, other than common-sence “lock your guns up with kids around”…

      A very powerful signal from SCOTUS that now sets the stage, teeing up the more complicated and still to be resolved issues on scrutiny, and interest balancing on something a bit more reliable than vague government interests in ameliorating social justice warriors triggering on “fear” per Chief Judge Sidney Thomas in his dissent on Peruta in the first en banc panel.

      Orals will be broadcast live by CNBC, and Fox will be recording also. Expect more good analysis to follow, to educate the public, about individual rights, vs the Tyranny of the State. Just in time for Nov 2016 and why it matters, who nominates Federal Judges and Justices, and who confirms the appointment. And who votes for those politicians…

      Can’t stop the signal, Mal.

      Keep Calm, and Carry on, POTG…

  16. Why is anyone surprised.

    The U.S. Is fucked and has been for some time.

    If scouts can ignore the law, and authorize the lower courts to ignore it, then I highly encourage you do the same. Just be smart about it.

  17. Why would they take this case, they have allready ruled that it’s unconstitutional. The law is unenforceable on law abiding Citizens, unless a child or mentally ill person is able to gain access to your gun. The police have no ability to enter your home to check how you store your gun.

    • they should have taken it in order to mandate the lower courts comply with their earlier ruling. as it sits, the supremes made constitutional decision about home storage that only applies to D.C. the rest of the country remains in chaos.

      • SF’s law is Heller-compliant because it allows home carry and does not require dis-assembly of the gun. Moreover, loaded storage is expressly permitted under SF’s ordinance.

      • This is a fallacy. The Supreme Court’s original ruling WAS the mandate that stated they their ruling was to be followed.

        If they issued a second ruling that essentially says “we really mean it this time guys, follow the rules!” Imagine the implications that would have.

        First, if the lower court ignored it once, why wouldn’t they ignore it twice?

        Second, it would totally undermine their original ruling. Activist judges would see it as their opportunity to ignore any rulings only issued once, because “the SC hasn’t issued a ruling saying we have to follow their previous ruling.”

        The Supreme Court has decided what is what. Beyond that, it’s up to the People and the States to ensure compliance.

        • now you bring up an interesting and very important point ! what happens if the lower courts refuse to rule IAW supreme court rulings? would a “we really mean it” ruling be more effective? what you hit on is the dissolution of the “gentleman’s” agreement that people abide by the rules set forth in the constitution. once a major element of government (executive branch?) decides there can be no enforcement of constitutional limits, the game is over. once the lower courts decide there is no enforcement mechanism for supreme court rulings, society as we know it ends. the result is we become who we always were, lawless humans who do whatever they can get away with until some bigger bully comes along to knock us out of the way.

          this is how empires end.

        • @george

          From a friend in the legal profession, as I understand it in this situation if a lower court plainly rules contrary to a plain SCOTUS ruling, SCOTUS can hold them in contempt — all it would take is an appeal quoting the original decision.
          That applies to recent cases; the longer a matter in a case lies untouched, the less weight the prior ruling carries (unless it was a classic ground-breaking issue that everyone agrees on).

          • let’s extrapolate here. supreme court makes a ruling. appellate/district court X ignores the ruling and makes and publishes a decision diametrically opposed the that supreme court ruling. then someone, somehow gets a case to the supreme court demanding that court hold the lower court in contempt. then what? send in the marshals to do what, exactly?andrew jackson commented on a supreme court case involving which jurisdiction held authority to deal with indian affairs. jackson reportedly commented: “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!…the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate,” (because the supreme court had no power to enforce its edict)

            once the bond of mutual respect for law and court decisions is cast aside, we fall into the category of banana republic. it is happening before our eyes.

  18. The issue at the heart of the case: the requirement that firearms be kept locked and disassembled in the home

    Uh, no. The DC ordinance in Heller required guns to be locked up or disassembled in the home, full stop. The SF ordinance requires guns to be locked up, or disabled via a trigger lock, or carried by the owner. Home carry in SF remains perfectly legal.

    Home carry remains legal in SF. Period. Bedside storage in a quick access safe remains legal. Period.

    So home carry, people. How many times do we have to say it? Home carry.

    • As Justice Thomas points out, how does a person exercise their immediate right to self-defense in the middle of the night when awakened by an intruder, while bathing, changing clothes, “otherwise indisposed” (euphemistic language for “on the toilet”, “engaging in sexual activity”, etc.?)? No one can realistically “carry in the home” in those circumstances, and are thus denied their right as per Heller.

      • Get real. If you’re jumped in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping or while you’re soaping up in the shower, you are screwed whether your gun is in a safe or on a nightstand.

        The real answer is: if you’re so concerned, don’t obey. Unless your kids get access to the gun, what do you think is going to happen? Do you think that the cops are going to break into your shower and soap your back?

  19. Options for San Fransiscans to keep a readily available handgun at hand while still following the law. Get one of those medium sized bio metric safes and a easily disassembled/reassembled pistol, like a Glock. Separate the slide assembly and put it in the safe together. Get a second small bio metric safe and put several loaded magazines in it.

    The gun is disassembled and locked in a secure container. The ammunition is also locked in a secure separate container.

    For ridiculousness, get a chrome .44 Magnum Desert Eagle (on the California legal list) and do the same thing. Attaching and reattaching the barrel takes about a second, meeting the dissassembly requirements, and .44 Magnum soft points will work just fine as a man stopper. Might want to have some electronic muffs next to the gun safe, though.

      • Ralph, you really need to stop with the facts, it makes Nick’s article very boring.

        • Red, this law is almost identical to the MA safe-storage law. The only people it has ever tripped up left their guns carelessly laying around to be stolen or used by children to accidentally kill each other.

        • Yeah, what the heck, Ralph. Between you and Mark N, (and a lot of otger guys and gals too numerous to mention) you are gonna spoil all the fun for the progtard moonbats who want to believe TTAG is a buncha foaming at the mouth gun nuts, under the control of our Overlord, the evilllll NRA.

  20. San Franciscoans now have the duty to fight this in-state.


    Even though the result of “Heller” was somewhat in line with the Constitution, SCOTUS’ not taking the S.F. case is more along the lines of WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN !!!! Or else the SCOTUS abdicates your position (at the outset) to making their decision based upon whatever defense (or offense) [adequate or otherwise] is mounted at the time. FURTHER: it abdicates SCOTUS’ role of protecting the Constitution to that of 3rd-rate, twist in the wind referee.

    FU S.F. – We will wait until the cries die way down before we rush in to interdict, and it won’t be to save you, it will be to finish you off.

    • S.F. doesn’t have the right to hold such provisions and STILL CALL THEMSELVES PART OF (not an enemy of) AMERICA.

      Or else the average citizen would have to spring from the womb fully-formed and armed to the teeth, and consuming their whole lives to beat-back all the ways such POS’ has encroached upon them.

  21. States are being given the power to write their own Constitution. The SC is dis-uniting the USA when they forgo decisions. The decision will likely erupt into an all-out legal battle for the 2A. There are ample prior decisions which crush this so-called decision, so one is left to wonder, what exactly is going on?

    • There are ample prior decisions which crush this so-called decision

      Name one, and don’t say Heller. The Heller ordinance made home carry illegal and made owners disassemble their guns. This ordinance expressly permits home carry and allows guns to be placed loaded in a quick-access safe. They ordinances are not the same in any way.

      • Sounds like arguing how many angles can dance on the head of a pin. The result is the lower courts negate home defense in that the requirement to on-body carry while asleep is plainly insane. As is the requirement that someone MUST carry around a firearm while at home. These requirements only serve to eliminate a very rare safety hazard. One of the problems with living in a free society is that you are responsible for your behavior. Locked guns cannot be accessed fast enough. How many home defense situations allowed time to awake, arise, access and respond?

        I grew up along time ago. Guns in the house (and the houses of neighbors) were common. I do not remember so many incidents of accidental shootings as we have now. Maybe it was because our parents instructed us properly. Maybe because it was because we knew better than to ever go into their bedroom or other “off limits” sections of the house. Maybe it was because we understood clearly the difference between TV and real life. Maybe it was because we knew the difference between real firearms and toys. Maybe it was because we had not lived through three generations of children raising children to remain children.

        • Sounds like arguing how many angles can dance on the head of a pin.

          Says someone who knows nothing of angels or pins.

          Carry your gun, put it in a safe or hang it from a hook in your kitchen — who cares? Any way you do it, you’re safe unless your child takes it and shoots somebody. In which case you deserve what you get.

  22. I still don’t get the hollow-point bullet thing! Hollow-points are demonstrable safer to employ in self-defense – for both the defendee and any innocents in the vicinity (generally on the other sides of walls).

    • It’s the rational basis standard of review. If any fool believes that hollow-point is “bad” then the legislature (city council) can prohibit it.

      This no-hollow-point-sales within the city doesn’t much matter. In fact, we should use the various hollow-point bans to hold-up legislatures to ridicule for passing laws that fly in the face of ALL competent technical expertise.

      We explain to the public that if we can’t carry .38 hollow point we will carry .45 ball. It’s only that the ladies, old men, handicapped (i.e., the most vulnerable among us) will be forced to choose between a gun they can handle vs. a gun that will be more effective. Young men have no objection to carrying a full-sized .45. The will – of course – want to OC; but that should be OK with the hollow-point phones.

    • ‘ya gotta unnerstan the looney mindset. hollowpoint ammunition makes big, terrible holes in people. big holes lead to greater chance of killing someone. non-hollowpoint make smaller holes, giving the victim/target a chance to change their mind and flee, with lesser risk of actually dying. oh yeah, non-hollowpoints have a greater propensity to over-penetrate, putting other people at unfair risk. if you are faced with the risk of over-penetration, you are less likely to shoot, which is the entire point (pun intended).

    • Mr Nichols, I applaud you for posting under your real name, if this is indeed you.
      Thank you also for your passion.
      But can you try to get some qualified legal help. Pro se litigants usually do more harm than good.

      There may be an exception to this rule in the 9th Circus, but thankfully, the Court denied your move to insert yourself into orals, at Peruta/Richards. In the meantime, scurrilous personal attacks on NRA and SAF counsel representing clients there, only makes you look like a bit of a loose screw.

      Sorry to be so blunt, but we have enough trolling going on here at TTAG pro-2A sites, by progtards as is, without new POTG getting sucked into new circular firing squads stimulated by old beefs and dead horses you have beat to death already, about case strategy that you are not in charge of, anyway. Right now I am torn over who gets the new Bloomturd Disinformatzia on the Web Award, and yiu are neck and neck with Jen Macias of NYT/MDA/AlJizzwaderha fame…

      Can you give it a rest? You have an excellent site, with all your arguments. I encourage you to continue to engage readers there, as imho as just another layman, and long time news reader, its my respectful suggestion that is the best way to do good things, imho.

  23. No inspection of the home…much to do about nothing. Post event punishment for crushing parents when kiddies find a gun, shoot themselves or their friends or take it to school.

    Every person can lawfully defend one self. End of story…that is all.

  24. A 2007 San Francisco ordinance requires residents to keep handguns under lock and key or to use trigger locks when they are not carrying their weapons.

    The funny thing is I already follow their law and think others should too. My guns are either on me or in the safe/quick access safe. Where I object is the government mandating under penalty that people follow this law. It should be up to the individual. This law can only be enforced by horrendously violated citizen’s right to privacy. These laws are a terrible idea.

    • This law will only be enforced when a kid steals or uses an unsecured gun or if the cops show up at the home for some other reason and find a person’s artillery all over the place — both of which have happened.

  25. the requirement that firearms be kept locked and disassembled in the home. Which leads to what Gestapo agency is going to randomly bust down doors with a warrantless search to enforce the badly needed legislation?

  26. Hollow points are legal in NJ. Falls under the same “exemptions” as handguns. To and from range, to and from gun store, etc.. You can even defend yourself in your own home/business with hollow points. Just cant use them in carry gun…not like that affects us anyhow…

  27. Hollow-Point ammunition ban? There goes the ever popular Sierra Match King. And a lot of over-the-counter target and hunting ammunition. At one point a gun control activist proposed that the sales of Match Kings be restricted to Military and LEOs only. Sierra replied with such a restriction they would end production of the Match King because sales only to Military and LEOs wasn’t economically viable. Sales to civilians were many, many times the military and leo sales.

    If the hollow-point bullet ban is influenced by the Geneva/Hague conventions the following points should be noted:

    – the ban of expanding/exploding small arms ammunition was only restricted to recognised military forces combating other recognised military forces.

    – civilian and police use of this ammunition was deliberaty ignored by the treaty by design as outside the scope of the discussions (to lessen the suffering experienced by ordinary soldiers in war).

    – the USA was NOT a signatory to the treaty but followed the rules any way.

    – the myth of hollow-point or dumm-dumm bullets as being illegal is a perpetuated Hollywood myth with no basis in fact.

    With partially dismantling long arms, designs that cock-on-close can have their bolts removed without a problem (pre ’98 Mausers, Lee-Enfields, P14/M17 Enfields) but bolts designed to cock-on-close will have their firing pin spring left compressed if removed, and this can affect the operation of the rifle if left too long.

    This rule is clearly ignorance over reality.

  28. Another day, another load of government tyrants who need to be arrested and tried for treason.

    Further proof that in this day and age, sacred rights that took humanity millennia to comprehend and protect are nothing more than political fodder.

  29. Welcome to federalism under a common law judicial system, folks. Piecemeal, incremental Supreme Court decisions are the best we can ever expect. In the meantime, lower courts have to figure out how to implement foregoing precedent.

    Heller, and the more relevant McDonald case (Heller only applies to federal enclaves, whereas McDonald applies to states), leave a lot to interpretation. The purpose of the Supreme Court, as every justice in existence has delighted in pointing out, is not mere “error correction.” They will always pass on a case, no matter how desperately it needs review, if it presents a so-called “vehicle problem,” i.e. that hearing and ruling upon it has a significant risk of creating unwanted, overbroad or unclear precedent in addition to the desired precedent. This case raises too many issues simultaneously; the plaintiffs got greedy. My guess is the hollow point ammo issue turned off at least one of the justices you’d otherwise expect to be supportive. Because while precedent now holds that the right to bear arms is fundamental, and thus applicable to the states via the 14th Amendment, it’s a much harder sell to claim that the right to own hollow point ammo, as opposed to any other kind of ammo, is a fundamental constitutional right.

    Now, a word to all ye alleged champions of “civil liberties,” who entreat us to vote republican to ensure additional republican appointees to the supreme court: you must either not be paying attention, or think that “civil liberties” refers only to guns. Fact is, Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas have been gleefully gutting the Bill of Rights since they took the bench. The Fourth Amendment is a particularly depressing example, among many, of ballooning governmental power at the expense of individual civil liberties. So do some research and think long and hard about whether you actually give a shit about civil liberties and the Constitution, or just really like guns. If the former, then you’d be an absolute rube to vote republican with the expectation that it will improve the makeup of the Supreme Court vis-a-vis the protection of civil liberties.

    • WRT hollow-point ammunition, perhaps the question is backward. Where in the constitution do the people enumerate authority for the State, at any level, to regulate the type of ammunition used when bearing arms?

      Also, the argument that hollow-point ammunition is “more deadly” is a non-starter. Any use of a firearm is per se deadly force. Something per se deadly cannot be a degree of deafly, any more than a woman can be a degree of pregnant.

      • Your right. It is mentioned no where in the constitution. Anything not specified to Feds by the constitution is reserved to the states. The states have every right to reasonably regulate. That simple!

        • …except the constitution says shall not be infringed, period. Not “congress shall make no law”, etc. No specification of federal or state government regulation.

          If it wasn’t clear enough in the original language, the fourteenth amendment incorporated the second amendment to the states.

          • like, really? you are still clinging to the notion that any law matters? the deceiver-in-chief (term swiped from someone else) has declared, “we can’t let the constitution get in the way of doing the right thing.” in this world, everything and everyone is subject to how the majority feels about anything or anyone at any moment. true democracy (mob rule).

      • Actually, you are quite wrong about degree of deadly. From the children’s point of view, an FMJ bullet most likely will result on only “a flesh wound”, or a “nick”, or “a winging”, all of which will always stop someone from continuing to act badly (because the children know that if such happened to them, they would stop). A JHP tears bigger holes, meaning blood runs out faster, or more internal damage will result in a death rather than a wounding. Yes, sometimes FMJ rounds will kill, but a hollow-point always will. Thus, more deadly.

    • JPF, you are making a lot of points here, without much if any examples as substantiation, other than your rather wild claims and republican bashing. Maybe you could refine just one, to make your claim, and cite one fact, as proof. A link helps too.

      Id be more tempted to “do my homework” if you did. Otherwise this looks like solitary ego-gratification of the uniquely anonymously masturbating on the innertubz kind most often found at KKKos or DU, or the ZOG/Nwo/libertarian of the anarcho sort. Just sayin’…

  30. The title of this piece is just flat out wrong. SCOTUS did not “uphold” anything. They declined to grant certiorari on this particular challenge to the ordinance in question. “Upholding” the law would require hearing the case and rendering a decision on the merits, which is not what happened here. The court might still hear a similar case if, for instance, a circuit split occurs on the issue…or any one of several other things happens.

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