The Other Supreme Court Challenges

The Supreme Court in January agreed to hear its first Second Amendment challenge after a decade of (relative) silence. But other than New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York (NYSRPA), there are—by my count—five other pending petitions asking the Court to review lower courts’ Second Amendment (or related firearms) rulings, with more likely to join in the coming months. Here are the pending petitions and where they stand:

Case  Court   Below Date of Petition Challenged Law Status
Mance v. Barr  5th Cir. 19-Nov-18 Federal ban on out-of-state handgun purchases distributed at

12-Apr-19 conf.

Rogers v. Grewal  3rd Cir. 20-Dec-18 “May issue” public carry regime distributed at

23-May-19 conf.

Pena v. Horan  9th Cir. 28-Dec-18 California’s Unsafe Handgun Act (microstamping, etc.) distributed at

12-Apr-19 conf.

Kettler v. United States  10th Cir. 14-Jan-19 National Firearms Act (under taxing power); whether silencers are protected under the Second Amendment distributed for

6-June-19 conf.

Gould v. Lipson  1st Cir. 1-Apr-19 “May issue” public carry regime distributed for

6-June-19 conf.

It’s possible that the Supreme Court is holding some or all of these petitions to assess how NYSRPA could affect them. Or, it may be holding them in case NYRSPA goes away altogether. If granted, any of these cases has the potential to result in monumental changes to Second Amendment law.

As well as the currently pending petitions, there are several cases in which the parties may (and in some case have said they will) seek Supreme Court review in the coming months. For example, in the case arising from the Sandy Hook massacre, Remington Arms has indicated that it will seek Supreme Court review. Its petition for certiorari in that case—Remington Arms v. Soto—is currently due August 1. That case is not a Second Amendment challenge, but about whether the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) bars the plaintiffs’ claims against Remington. There are also several as-applied challenges to firearm prohibitions for felons that appear ready for Supreme Court review, such as Kanter v. Barr and Medina v. Whitaker , though it remains to be seen whether the parties in these case will ultimately seek review. Then there are other percolating challenges, like the one to Massachusetts’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Worman v. Healy, that may also present opportunities for the Supreme Court to weigh in. Just like batch of pending cases, these too have the potential to effect radical change in Second Amendment (or related) doctrine.