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The Supreme Court has decided against weighing in on the ongoing gun control debate. The Court will not rule on a New Jersey law that restricts carrying a gun in public.
Had the Court decided to take the case, it would have been able to make a definitive ruling on whether or not the Second Amendment right to bear arms does cover outside the home, notes USA Today. It would have also been the Court’s most important ruling on guns since the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision, which gave the right to carry handguns for self-defense.
According to the New York Times, the New Jersey law in question said that anyone trying to get a gun license to carry a weapon in public must show a “justifiable need.” Those who challenged the law, including the National Rifle Association, suggested that this law made it difficult for an average citizen to get a gun license. The case is Drake v. Jerijian.
Last year, a United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit three-judge panel was divided on the case, and ultimately decided not to rule on the Second Amendment’s rights extending out of the home. However, they did say that the New Jersey law did fit within the Constitution.
The Times notes that the dissenting judge in the case, Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, said that the precedent established by the Heller case does suggest that “the need for self-defense naturally exists both outside and inside the home.”
The Supreme Court declined to say why it passed on the case. The judges typically do not explain why it passes on certain cases.