The Supreme Court’s refusal Monday to hear a challenge to a Chicago suburb’s ban on semiautomatic “assault” weapons keeps similar bans in place from Massachusetts to Hawaii — but not without complaint from two conservative justices.
Acting only days after two Muslim terrorists killed 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, Calif., the high court declined to reconsider two lower courts’ rulings that the ban was constitutional.
The action, hailed by gun control advocates, signaled that the majority of justices agree with the lower courts, or at least feel it’s a matter to be left up to state and local governments. Similar bans are on the books in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut and Hawaii.
The court denied a petition, backed by the Illinois State Rifle Association, that sought review of the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Highland Park, Ill. Such weapons have been used in several mass shootings across the country, including those in 2012 that killed 26 children and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and 12 people at a Colorado movie theater.