Justice Clarence Thomas had criticized the Supreme Court for not taking up Second Amendment cases. After the landmarkHeller decision in 2008, which affirmed “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home” within federal enclaves, it was expanded to the states in the McDonald decision two years later. Since then, case after case was not granted an audience before the high court.
Whether it be so-called assault weapons bans in deep blue states to concealed carry, the Supreme Court has rejected scores of Second Amendment cases. Two of the most disappointing were Wollard v. Gallagher (2013) and Drake v. Jerejian (2014), which argued that the good reason provisions in Maryland and New Jersey concealed carry laws were unconstitutional. The Jerjerian case also could have decided whether it was an American’s constitutional right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense, which the National Rifle Association noted is one of the last remaining legal questions to be answered. With may issue and shall issue states firmly established, and with a legitimate constitutional question concerning carry rights, there was pressure for SCOTUS to take on these cases.