Meanwhile, challenges to other provisions of federal law are gathering steam in lower courts.
Earlier this month, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia targeted another provision, 922(g)(1), that prohibits felons from possessing guns. The court ruled that the law was unconstitutional as applied to people convicted of nonviolent crimes.
In reaching that conclusion the court said there was no historical tradition of people being disarmed after being convicted of nonviolent crimes.
Other rulings on different provisions, including ones prohibiting people under felony indictment and users of illegal drugs, from possessing firearms, have followed a similar pattern. …
Both gun control advocates and gun rights supporters agree that the court should take up the Rahimi case because the Bruen case has led to such disparate results in lower courts.
“We would be thrilled to get further clarification from the court on these issues,” said William Sack, a lawyer at Firearms Policy Coalition, a gun rights group.
For those favoring gun control, the hope is that there is a majority on the Supreme Court that will uphold long-standing provisions like the one at issue in the Rahimi case. To do so without overturning Bruen, they would need to find that those restrictions are consistent with the historical understanding of the Second Amendment.
The path to victory likely involves winning the votes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Although both were part of the 6-3 conservative majority in Bruen, Kavanaugh wrote a separate concurring opinion joined by Roberts in which he outlined what he called “the limits of the court’s decision,” making it clear that the Second Amendment does allow for gun regulations.
Citing previous court rulings, Kavanaugh specifically highlighted the prohibition on the possession of firearms by felons and people with mental illnesses as an example of laws that were not under threat.
“If you add up the votes, the two of them together [Roberts and Kavanaugh] were necessary for the majority. I think everything they said will guide them when they are looking at the next case,” said Janet Carter, a lawyer at Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that backs gun restrictions.
— Lawrence Hurley in Supreme Court considers recoil from landmark gun rights ruling