Supreme Court rejects challenges to assault weapons ban, open-carry policy

By Sara Shayanian  |  Nov. 27, 2017 at 1:51 PM
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Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear challenges to laws on assault weapons and an open-carry policy in Maryland and Florida.

Without comment, the justices left in place a lower court ruling that left banned assault weapons intact.

The Supreme Court's decision not to wade into the case also upheld the Florida challenge, finding the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee a right to carry.

The open-carry ban was challenged in Florida after Dale Norman, who's licensed to conceal and carry in the state, was arrested and fined for waving his firearm holster uncovered by his shirt while in public.

Norman was found guilty and the high court sided with the state, claiming the open-carry ban doesn't violate the Second Amendment.

In the Maryland assault weapons ban, the 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals previously found that the prohibition on semi-automatic weapons was legal -- as large-capacity magazine are military-style weapons and outside of the reach of the Second Amendment.

"We have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage," Judge Robert King wrote in the Maryland case.

Maryland enacted the ban after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 that killed 20 children and six adults.

A group of gun dealers and groups backed by the National Rifle Association had challenged the laws, saying the weapons in question were "indisputably in common use for self-defense -- from the homes of law-abiding citizens."

Florida, South Carolina and Illinois are the only states that allow concealed carry of weapons but ban carrying guns openly.

The Supreme Court on Monday also refused to hear arguments to advance a lawsuit challenging Mississippi's state flag, which contains a Confederate emblem.

The court denied a request to review the lower court decision to dismiss the case, despite attorneys calling the Confederate symbol "an official endorsement of white supremacy."

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