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 May 15, 2023

Sen. Chris Murphy hints at a 'revolt' if the Supreme Court rejects additional gun control

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) has implied that there could be a "popular revolt" if the Supreme Court strikes down "assault weapons" prohibitions or other favored Democratic gun laws, as Breitbart News reported.

Murphy said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, “If the Supreme Court eventually says that states or the Congress can’t pass universal background checks or can’t take these assault weapons off the streets, I think there’s going to be a popular revolt over that policy,” Politico noted.

He added, “A court that’s already pretty illegitimate, is going to be in full crisis mode.”

Murphy's remarks come on the heels of U.S. District Court Judge Robert Payne's ruling that a ban on the purchase of handguns by individuals aged 18 to 20 was unconstitutional.

Payne evaluated the prohibition based on the criteria outlined in Bruen (2022), the Supreme Court decision that overturned New York's justification requirement for concealed carry licenses.

“The Government simply has not met its burden to support the finding that restrictions on the purchasing of firearms by 18-to-20-year-olds is part of our Nation’s history and tradition,” Payne noted.

Payne concluded, “Because the statutes and regulations in question are not consistent with our Nation’s history and tradition, they, therefore, cannot stand.”

In February of this year reports circulated that there was "turmoil" over the Supreme Court's ruling following a precedent-setting change that upending gun laws across the country, dividing justices, and sowing confusion over which firearm restrictions can remain in effect.

The high court's decision that established new standards for evaluating gun laws has left many questions unanswered, according to experts, resulting in an increase in inconsistent decisions as lower court justices struggle to apply it.

The so-called Bruen decision of the Supreme Court altered the standard by which subordinate courts had historically evaluated challenges to firearm restrictions. The justices stated that judges should no longer consider whether the law serves public interests, such as enhancing public safety.

Under the Supreme Court's new standard, a government seeking to uphold a gun restriction must demonstrate that it is consistent with the nation's "historical tradition of firearm regulation."

In recent months, federal laws intended to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, felony defendants, and marijuana users have been declared unconstitutional by the courts.

Judges have struck down a federal prohibition on the possession of guns with serial numbers removed and gun restrictions for young adults in Texas, as well as a Delaware ban on the possession of homemade "ghost guns."

In several instances, in the aftermath of the conservative majority's decision by the Supreme Court, judges evaluating the constitutionality of identical laws have reached contradictory conclusions. The legal upheaval caused by the first significant gun ruling in a decade will likely prompt the Supreme Court to provide additional guidance to lower courts in the near future.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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