Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Potentially Landmark Gun Control Case

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a potentially landmark Second Amendment case that gun control advocates and opponents had been watching closely.  The case is Williams v. Maryland.  In the Williams case, police noticed Charles Wiliams rummaging through his backpack at a bus stop.  The officer drove past Williams and noticed that he placed something in a bush next to the bus stop.  The police officer recovered a gun and arrested Charles Williams.  He was convicted on the gun charge and ended up serving one year in state prison.  Williams appealed his conviction claiming that Maryland's gun laws were too restrictive because he was not doing anything illegal and was merely transporting the gun from his home to his girlfriend's home when he was stopped by the police and arrested.  The Maryland Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Maryland's gun law noting that the United States Supreme Court's previous decisions established a right to possess a firearm inside the home, not outside of the home.  Williams argued that the Supreme Court had established a right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, including outside of the home.  

The Supreme Court's decision to deny review of the case suggests that previous Supreme Court precedent establishing the right to own a firearm is limited to owing a firearm inside one's home.  The Supreme Court is waiting for brief's on one more Second Amendment case that may be reviewed this term and there are other gun cases working their way up to the Supreme Court.

The case is Williams v. Maryland, 10-1207.

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