Thomas Balks as Court Denies Review to California Guns Case

Justice Thomas delivers pro-gun rant just days after the Parkland shooting

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 meant to guard against impulsive violence and suicides. California also argues the law has a "cool down" effect, as it may deter prospective gun owners from inflicting harm on themselves or others if they attempt to buy a firearm in an emotionally compromised state.

The court also refused to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a California law that requires $5 of each $19 transfer fee on gun sales go to fund enforcement efforts against illegal firearm purchasers through California's Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS).

Thomas noted that the Supreme Court has not touched the gun rights issue for almost a decade, since ruling that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to have a handgun at home for self defense. The refusal to do so, he said, is a sign that "the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court".

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

In a blistering 14-page dissent, Thomas ripped the Supreme Court and California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Ninth Circuit, Thomas wrote, applied the wrong standard of review in weighing the constitutionality of the waiting period.

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The National Rifle Association and state gun rights advocates argued the law violates the Second Amendment because the criminal misuse of firearms targeted by the APPS is not sufficiently related to the legal acquisition of firearms on which the fee is imposed.

"The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this court's constitutional orphan", Justice Thomas wrote.

Last year, the Supreme Court left in place a California law that bars permits to carry a concealed gun in public places unless the applicant can show "good cause" for having it.

Thomas' primary grievance with the lower court's decision in Silvester is he thinks that the court of appeals should have started with a stronger presumption against gun regulation.

That argument prevailed before the the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, which ruled against the 10-day waiting period in the context of "previous purchasers". "I suspect that four Members of this Court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period for abortions, notwithstanding a State's purported interest in creating a "cooling off" period...." Eight other states have waiting periods.

The challengers were represented by Erik Jaffe of Washington, D.C. California Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Eisenberg represented California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

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