The Supreme Court declined to review bans on a lengthy list of firearms that Connecticut classified as “assault weapons,” the latest example of the court’s reluctance to be drawn into an emotional national debate on gun control.
The justices decided without comment not to review a lower court decision that upheld the laws; Connecticut’s was enacted shortly after a gunman used one of the military-style semiautomatic weapons on the list to kill 20 students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012.
The decision was not a surprise, as the court has previously declined to review other court decisions that uphold bans passed by cities and states. Maryland, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, as well as many cities and towns, have similar laws. None of the legal challenges to them have been successful in lower courts.
They were enacted after a federal ban expired in 2004. Attempts to revive the federal ban have failed. But Congress is once again embroiled in a debate over gun control after the massacre at an Orlando nightclub left 49 victims dead.