Supreme Court Rejects Jackson v. San Francisco Case

In a move that severely undermines the right of self-protection in one’s home, the Supreme Court today (6/8/2015) denied the petition to hear Jackson v. the City and County of San Francisco on the requirement for locked storage of firearms.  The petition for “writ of certiorari” to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was refused, which means that the higher court will not order the lower court to send case documents for a review of the lower court’s decision. Certiorari is most commonly used by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is selective about which cases it will hear on appeal. By denying such a writ the Supreme Court says it will let the lower court decision stand.

In an eloquent and persuasive dissenting opinion on the decision not to hear the case, Justices Thomas and Scalia stated the following:

“Self-defense is a basic right” and “the central compo­nent” of the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individ­ual’s right to keep and bear arms. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 767 (2010) (emphasis deleted). Less than a decade ago, we explained that an ordinance requiring firearms in the home to be kept inoperable, without an exception for self-defense, conflicted with the Second Amendment because it “ma[de] it impossible for citizens to use [their firearms] for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 630 (2008). Despite the clarity with which we described the Second Amendment’s core protection for the right of self-defense, lower courts, including the ones here, have failed to protect it. Because Second Amendment rights are no less protected by our Constitution than other rights enumerated in that document, I would have granted this petition.’

The Justices went on to state “San Francisco’s law allows residents to use their handguns for the purpose of self-defense, but it prohibits them from keeping those handguns “operable for the purpose of im­mediate self-defense” when not carried on their person. The law thus burdens their right to self-defense at the times they are most vulnerable—when they are sleeping, bathing, changing clothes, or otherwise indisposed. There is consequently no question that San Francisco’s law burdens the core of the Second Amendment right.”

To read the complete dissenting opinion, click here and scroll to page 11.