SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 1/13/20

The new year at the Supreme Court started the same as the last one ended: silence and anticipation. The new orders released this morning held no signs of action on NYSRPA and news that the Court did not act on the cert petitions in Guedes, which challenges the Trump Administration’s ban on bump stocks, or Worman, which challenges Massachusetts laws banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. It had just considered those cases  for the first time at its conference last Friday.

Since it granted cert in NYSRPA, the Supreme Court has consistently held gun cases, at least those raising Second Amendment challenges. Notably, however, it denied cert in Medina, challenging the federal firearm prohibitor as applied to a man with an old, non-violent felony conviction. And now it has decided to hold (or at least not deny at the first chance), Guedes though it raises no Second Amendment challenge. Perhaps it wants to explore the administrative law questions at issue there—or maybe a denial will come soon.

This week also saw one new relevant cert petition filed—Beers v. Barr—raising an as-applied challenge to the federal law barring firearm possession for anyone who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution. Powerhouse big law firm Sidley Austin, along with Sarah O’Rourke Schrup from the Northwestern Supreme Court practicum, represent the petitioner in the case. Given the Court’s treatment of Medina’s as-applied challenge, it may have less appetite for person-based challenges, but we will have to wait and see.

Case Ct. Below Pet. Filed Implicated Law/Issue Status
Mance v. Barr  5th Cir. 19-Nov-18 Federal ban on out-of-state handgun purchases distributed

12-Apr-19 conf.

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

23-May-19 conf.

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

12-Apr-19 conf.

Gould v. Lipson  1st Cir. 1-Apr-19 MA “may issue” public carry regime (as implemented locally) distributed

6-June-19 conf.

Cheeseman v. Polillo N.J. 28-June-19 NJ “may issue” public carry regime distributed

18-Oct-19 conf.

Ciolek v. New Jersey N.J. 18-July-19 NJ “may issue” public carry regime distributed

1-Oct-19 conf.

Daniel v. Armslist Wisc. 29-July-19 Scope of immunity for gun-broker website under Communications Decency Act Cert Denied
Remington Arms v. Soto Conn. 1-Aug-19 Scope of  gunmaker immunity under the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act Cert Denied
Guedes v. ATF D.C. Cir. 29-Aug-19 Ban on bump stocks distributed

10-Jan-20 conf.

Medina v. Barr D.C. Cir. 30-Aug-19 Ban on felon possession under 922(g)(1) (as applied) Cert Denied
Worman v. Healey 1st Cir. 23-Sep-19 Ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines distributed

10-Jan-20 conf.

Malpasso v. Pallozzi 4th Cir. 26-Sep-19 MD “may issue” public carry regime distributed for

24-Jan-20 conf.

Pennsylvania v. Hicks Penn. 27-Sep-19 How a firearm can factor into reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment Cert Denied
Culp v. Raoul 7th Cir. 10-Oct-19 IL refusal to grant carry permits to most non-residents resp. due 13-Jan-20
Matsura v. United States 9th Cir. 25-Oct-19 Unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person resp. filed 27-Dec-19
Baker v. City of Trenton, MI 6th Cir. 26-Nov-19 Reasonableness of warrantless search in light of the Second Amendment resp. waived filed 17-Dec-19
Wilson v. Cook County, IL 7th Circ. 27-Nov-19 Assault weapons and high-capacity magazine ban resp. due 3-Feb-20
Beers v. Barr 3rd Cir. 9-Jan-20 Unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person (involuntarily committed) resp. due 10-Feb-20