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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Florida Law Prohibiting the Open Carry of Firearms, Dealing yet Another Courtroom Loss to the Gun Lobby


NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, applauded today’s announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court will let stand a Florida Supreme Court ruling that upheld Florida’s law prohibiting the open carry of firearms in public.

In March, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the state law in question, rejecting the National Rifle Association’s arguments that the prohibition violated the Second Amendment. The court also referred to the lengthy history of state regulation of public carrying of firearms – history that Everytown laid out in detail in a February 2016 amicus brief urging the court to uphold the law. In addition to filing its amicus brief in this case, Everytown has also documented how white supremacist groups have embraced open carry as a method of intimidation.

The Supreme Court also said Monday it would not hear an appeal of a ruling in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld Maryland’s prohibition on the sale of large-capacity magazines and assault weapons. Relying on the language of Justice Antonin Scalia in Heller v. District of Columbia, the Fourth Circuit found that large-capacity magazines and assault weapons were not protected under the Second Amendment. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case is available here.

“In both these cases, the Supreme Court saw through the gun lobby’s extremist arguments,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Yet again, the Court has refused to entertain the NRA’s absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment — a reckless interpretation that’s inconsistent with the landmark Heller decision and out of touch with the values of most Americans.”

“Today’s Supreme Court announcements are only the latest setbacks for gun lobbyists who are trying to roll back laws and policies that protect public safety,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “From Florida to Maryland to California, lawyers for the NRA have tried again and again to undermine reasonable gun safety laws, but fortunately, the courts keep rejecting their efforts.”

Today’s announcements follow the Supreme Court’s June announcement that it would let stand a ruling from the U.S. court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that upheld San Diego’s requirement that a member of the public needs a good cause to carry a concealed handgun in public. As a result, San Diego’s permitting standards remained intact.

In a separate recent case, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of I-594, Washington state’s background check ballot measure.

A list of other court rulings in cases related to gun safety laws is available here.