U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge to California gun waiting period

Vastavam web: In a blow to gun rights activists, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away a challenge to California’s 10-day waiting period for firearms purchases that is intended to guard against impulsive violence and suicides.The court’s action underscored its continued reluctance to step into a national debate over gun control roiled by a series of mass shootings including one at a Florida school last week. One of the court’s staunchest conservatives, Justice Clarence Thomas, dissented from the decision to reject the case and accused his colleagues of showing contempt toward constitutional protections for gun rights.

The gun rights groups and individual gun owners who challenged the waiting period had argued that it violated their right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. The challengers did not seek to invalidate the waiting period for everyone, just those who already owned guns and passed a background check.The Supreme Court has not taken up a major firearms case since issuing important gun rulings in 2008 and 2010 that established an individual right to own guns for self-defense.

Gun control advocacy groups cheered Tuesday’s snub of the waiting period case.“Once again the Supreme Court has refused to entertain the gun lobby’s extreme interpretation of the Second Amendment,” said Eric Tirschwell, litigation director for Everytown for Gun Safety, a group funded by billionaire businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The courts are continuing to recognize that states have the authority to pass reasonable public safety laws to protect their citizens from gun violence.”

The United States has among the world’s most lenient gun laws. With the U.S. Congress deeply divided over gun control, it has fallen to states and localities to impose firearms restrictions in recent years. Democratic-governed California has some of the broadest firearms measures of any state.A series of mass shootings including one in which a gunman killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida high school on Feb. 14 have added to the long-simmering U.S. debate over the availability of firearms.