by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
Posted on May 5, 2014 at 7:14 AM
Updated today at 7:14 AM
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appears hesitant to wade back into the national debate on guns.
The court refused Monday to decide whether the right to bear arms extends outside the home. The justices won’t consider a challenge to a New Jersey law that restricts most residents from carrying guns in public.
The case would have marked the most significant gun control case at the high court since its District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008 upheld the right to keep handguns at home for self-defense.
The New Jersey challenge was backed by the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners Foundation. “The Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry weapons for the purpose of self-defense — not just for self-defense within the home, but for self-defense, period,” the NRA argued in its brief to the high court.
New Jersey law enforcement groups defended the state’s requirement that citizens prove a “justifiable need” to carry handguns outside the home, whether openly or concealed from view. In their brief, they claimed the law “qualifies as a presumptively lawful, longstanding regulation that does not burden conduct within the scope of the Second Amendment’s guarantee.”