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The Supreme Court Just Handed Gun Control Advocates a Victory in California

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: A man walks up the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Later today President Donald Trump is expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee to replace Associate Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away last year. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A little over a week after a tragic shooting massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a lower court decision by the San Francisco 9th Circuit to restrict the concealed carry of handguns.

This is the second time in two years that the court has declined to step into the fray regarding concealed carry laws, but the first time it has done so with the controversial new Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who frequently ruled in favor of far-reaching gun rights during his time on the United States Court of Appeals.


Now buttressed by a solid Republican majority, it's likely gun rights activists were hoping for a different outcome, rather than the same stance with a similar case last year. Democrats can be grateful that the decision was upheld, rather than thrust into the national stage as the first major case of the latest Supreme Court.

And grateful they were.

Some knew that the San Francisco court's ruling already made sense.

While the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 (and nationally in 2010) that the ownership of a firearm for self-defense in one's residence is a constitutional right, current California law prohibits concealed carry in public without a permit from a local sheriff, who must determine good cause for issuing it.

For the California couple attempting to bring the case to the court, one sheriff denied their request. In the suit, they claimed that the concealed carry permit was an undue burden and that the sheriff had violated their 14th Amendment rights.

Not everyone was happy with the court's decision.

While Democrats were cheering all around, Republicans were indulging in sour grapes of wrath, citing the oft-repeated claim that criminals wouldn't follow the law, so no one is safe.

They didn't, however, specify why the same standard isn't applied to laws against murder or theft.

For now, the standard won't be under debate on a national stage, but after the 2018 midterms are finalized and the nation is once again two years away from the next critical election, anything could be on the table again. With two Trump picks on the bench, nothing can be taken for granted.