Supreme Court nixes challenge to California gun-waiting period

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected two challenges by guns rights groups to California laws regulating firearms’ sales. The justices did not comment on leaving in place two rulings by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

In one case, the appeals court said California could require people to wait 10 days to buy a gun, even if they already owned one and their background check was completed sooner. In the other case, the appeals court upheld California’s $19 fee for sales and transfers of guns.

The action Tuesday came less than a week after a gunman in Florida killed 17 people at a high school, and it highlighted the Supreme Court’s reluctance to enter the national gun control debate, Reuters reports.  

Justice Clarence Thomas, a staunch conservative, issued a 14-page dissent in the background check case. He accused his colleagues of displaying contempt toward constitutional gun rights protections.

“If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt this court would intervene,” he wrote, according to Reuters. “But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this court.”

However, Eric Tirschwell, litigation director for Everytown for Gun Safety, said, “The courts are continuing to recognize that states have the authority to pass reasonable public safety laws to protect their citizens from gun violence.”

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