The Supreme Court refused to hear a case contesting a ban on “assault weapons”; that is, semi-automatic weapons that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. This will doubtless clear the way for local, state, and national bans of certain types of firearms.
The US Supreme Court appeared on Monday to back lawmakers who want to restrict the type of guns such as semi-automatic assault weapons used in recent mass shootings.
In a 7-2 vote, the high court’s justices refused to take up a challenge to a Chicago suburb’s ban on the sale or possession of semi-automatic weapons or high-capacity magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The court’s move is a small victory for activists against the spread of such guns, which can potentially kill many people in a short period of time.
“By rejecting this case, today the Supreme Court sided with a community that has taken action to protect itself from the type of violence we’ve seen in San Bernardino, on college campuses and in movie theaters,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center and Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
It seems to me that the framers of the Constitution were not concerned with just the right to go hunting. The “militia” clause puts the Second Amendment in the context of self-defense. (Indeed, national defense. Isn’t this a Constitutional requirement that we should have a militia of private citizens as part of our nation’s military system? That would not be along the lines of the National Guard but the kind of citizens’ militia like Switzerland has.) So it would appear that the framers specifically had military-type weapons in mind. Or at least the kind of weapon that any enemies would have; otherwise, the citizens defending themselves would be outgunned.
I can see prudential restrictions but they would have to be carefully drawn so as not to get in the way of an actual Constitutional right.