Here’s Why the Supreme Court Won’t Touch Guns

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The Supreme Court is like the mouth of a small child — a brilliant mouth, with old and experienced teeth — but all the same, one that doesn’t want to eat its vegetables. And in this scenario, vegetables are gun control. The nation may be in need of overarching and consistent gun laws, but based on recent signs from the court, America is unlikely to get them. Specifically, a Supreme Court ruling on the case of Abramski v. United States was made this year on June 16, but the ruling was given in such a way so as not to outline any substantial definitions to the U.S. body of law.

The case came down on the side of gun control, stating in a 5-4 ruling that “straw” acquisitions of firearms (guns bought for another person) will remain under federal ban. In the majority opinion, Justice Elena Kagan references a 40-year history of federal law regulating firearm sales, and says “that statute’s record-keeping provisions would serve little purpose if the records kept were of nominal rather than real buyers.”

It was a narrow ruling, one without mention of the Second Amendment – in other words, whatever greater uses the case could have been put to, the justices chose not to do so, making the last really major ruling on gun control the case of District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008. Nine years ago and counting: Why doesn’t SCOTUS want to take on any major gun control cases? It’s had more than enough opportunity, passing on a case in May and a number of attempts from the National Rifle Association to involve the court once more.