There is room for looking at the lethality of modern firearms when considering the constitutionality of gun regulation. The court implicitly acknowledged this in its Heller decision when it stated that machine gun bans were acceptable. It’s a difficult concession to explain unless the court is considering the modern capabilities of firearms outside of the historical scope of regulation.
The issue before the Court this fall concerns the conditions under which an individual can carry a firearm publicly on their person. That question is not independent from the deadliness of the weapon that they choose to carry.
Weapons designed with an ever-increasing capacity to kill large numbers of people in battle, with long barrels and large-capacity magazines, have no place in public spaces, supermarkets, and shopping malls — not on the grounds of a generic right to self-defense. When it takes up this new gun case, the Court should take technological innovation into account and acknowledge that guns are now exponentially more lethal than they were when the Constitution was written.