In a move that’s sure to aggravate many so-called “guns rights” proponents across the nation, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case that would have given consideration to the legality of unfettered and unregulated gun silencers.
An Army surplus store owner in Kansas sold an unregistered and homemade silencer to a customer in his store. As a result, both men were charged and convicted of violating the National Firearms Act, which was passed in 1934.
The law states that accessories like silencers must be registered to whoever wants to own them. The litigants in the case appealed their conviction, arguing that they had Second Amendment protections to owning or selling silencers, CNN reported.
An appeals court ruled against the plaintiffs in the case, stating that silencers are not a “bearable” kind of arms that the Second Amendment would protect.
BREAKING: The U.S. Supreme Court turned away challenges to a federal law that requires registration of gun silencers, the accessory that has drawn new scrutiny after it was used in a mass shooting in Virginia.https://t.co/dmuKu2ZueL
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) June 10, 2019
The Supreme Court’s choice not to hear the case came without comment or a recorded dissent from justices who may have been sympathetic to the litigants’ beliefs. A writ of certiorari — an order from the Court granting hearing of a case — requires at least four justices’ agreements.
The “right to bear arms” hasn’t always been recognized as an individual right, according to New York Magazine. It was a case in 2008 that, Heller v. District of Columbia, that distinguished an individual’s right to own guns without the requisite of a “well-regulated Militia” being necessary.
Even so, justices on the Court, including the late conservative stalwart Antonin Scalia, understood that an unregulated Second Amendment was not what the founders had intended when they wrote the law. “[L]ike most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” Scalia wrote in his concurring opinion in the Heller case, per reporting from Newsweek.