In their orders released today, the Supreme Court denied Sean Masciandaro’s writ of certiorari without any comment. He had appealed to the Supreme Court from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals which had punted the case.
Mr. Masciandaro was originally convicted of possessing a firearm on National Park Service property when he had stopped to take a nap before continuing his drive home. At the time of his arrest this was illegal but the law changed before he went to trial. Nonetheless, under existing precedent, this was valid even though it was no longer illegal.
As the Christian Science Monitor noted about this denial of certiorari:
Lawyers for a Virginia man had asked the justices to examine a question left largely unresolved in the high court’s two prior landmark rulings identifying the scope and substance of Second Amendment protections. The question is: Does the Second Amendment guarantee a right to bear arms in public for personal protection?
The court dismissed the case in a one-line order without comment. The action leaves lower court rulings intact and postpones the prospect of high court clarification on a key gun rights issue.
On one hand, I am sorry that the Supreme Court did not take this opportunity to clarify their rulings in Heller and McDonald. On the other hand, this opens the door for the Supreme Court to consider some of the cleaner cases working their way through the lowers courts.
By cleaner I mean ones that do not involve a criminal conviction but rather deal with the denial of permits or state laws that deal with carry. Some of these better cases include Woollard v. Sheridan in Maryland, Bateman v. Perdue in North Carolina, and Kachalsky v. Cacace in New York. These three, I should note, are all Second Amendment Foundation cases with Alan Gura as the lead attorney.