Supreme Court declines to review decision upholding 10-day waiting period for gun purchases

Supreme Court declines to review decision upholding 10-day waiting period for gun purchases

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday declined to review a decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholding California’s 10-day waiting period [JURIST report] for purchasing a gun.

The court denied a petition for certiorari [text, PDF] filed by two California plaintiffs in conjunction with the Second Amendment Foundation and the Calguns Foundation [advocacy websites] in October.

The California law would require a 10-day waiting period for new gun purchasers even if the individual is a prior gun owner or has a concealed carry permit. The state of California and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra [official website] argue that the 10-day requirement is necessary to conduct a thorough background check, to assess whether the gun is lost or stolen and to investigate any suspicions that the purchase is being made for someone else who is ineligible.

The appeals court opinion also contends that the waiting period serves as a “cooling off” period “in which weapons purchasers may reconsider, particularly when an impulsive act of violence or self harm may be contemplated.”

Justice Clarence Thomas dissented [opinion, PDF] from the decision not to review the case. Thomas sees the Supreme Court’s inaction in this area as treating the second amendment as a “disfavored right,” noting, “I suspect that four Members of this Court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period for abortions.”