Clarence Thomas, in Dissent, Asserts Gun Rights Aren't 'Favored' at High Court
06:37, Feb 21, 2018
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While gun control advocates argued that the waiting period allowed ample time to run background checks, Second Amendment advocates argued that gun owners who already passed background checks or had concealed carry licenses shouldn't have to wait 10 days.
But petitioners argue the state's full "cooling off period" shouldn't apply to "subsequent purchasers", or people who already own a firearm.
The rebuff came less than a week after a gunman killed 17 people and wounded a dozen others at a Florida high school.
The advocacy group Calguns Foundation praised Thomas' dissent and said it would "continue to challenge unconstitutional gun control laws until the Second Amendment takes its place as a peer among constitutional rights". "The Ninth Circuit would not have done this for any other constitutional right", Thomas maintained.
But Hannah Shearer, a lawyer with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the court has consistently rejected "extreme challenges that go well beyond the right to self-defense". "And the lower courts seem to have gotten the message", Thomas added. Since those two decisions, however, the Court has said very little about the Second Amendment. 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. They said the state's claimed need for a "cooling off period" makes no sense if the buyer already has a gun.
"Nearly eight years ago, this Court declared that the Second Amendment is not a 'second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees, '" he wrote.
They focused their challenge only on the cooling-off period, Thomas wrote, quoting the finding by the trial court that only 20 percent of background checks are approved automatically and completed in less than two hours. This waiting period gives state officials time to run a background check on the buyer, and also creates a "cooling off" period allowing someone who meant to give "individuals who might use a firearm to harm themselves or others an opportunity to calm down". While those laws reflected the wisdom of "thousands of years of human history in every society known to have populated the planet", they faced a much tougher time in the Ninth Circuit than California's new and unusual waiting period for firearms.
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More Flood Warnings around the area
The rain will continue through late Wednesday , when a cold front will push through, ushering in lower temperatures for Thursday . While 12 hours might not seem like that big a deal, there is a significant amount of rain expected over a short amount of time.
Winter weather advisory in effect until 4 am Sunday
Back to the freezer! A south wind of 11 to 15 miles per hour , gusting as high as 30 miles per hour , is possible. Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. has only tallied 3.1 inches of snow all season through February 13.
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