The Supreme Court has rejected challenges against a federal law that restricts the ownership of silencers and suppressors.
Without comment or recorded dissent, the court declined the appeals of Kansas army surplus store owner Shane Cox and customer Jeremy Kettler who were both convicted for being in violation of the National Firearms Act for possessing “unregistered” gun silencers.
Their lawyers argue the 1934 act, that requires a background check and payment of a fee to purchase a silencer, violates their clients’ Second Amendment rights.
“Kettler’s attorneys argued he believed the ‘purchase, possession, and use of such a suppressor was entirely lawful,’” reports the Washington Examiner. “Lawyers for Cox told the Supreme Court in filings he never would have made or sold the suppressors had he not thought it was legal to do so under a Kansas gun law passed in 2013.”
Kettler, who purchased a silencer from Cox’s store in 2014, was interviewed by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) after he posted himself using the new gun accessory on Facebook.
“[I did] nothing wrong,” said Kettler to ATF agents, according to his lawyers.
Kettler was convicted with “possession of an unregistered firearm” and Cox was convicted of five counts of “transferring an unregistered silencer,” both activities a crime according to the National Firearms Act.
An appeals court had ruled that silencers are not protected by the Second Amendment because they’re not “bearable arms,” distinguishing that “firearm accessories” are not a “weapon in itself.”
The Monday SCOTUS order comes on the heels of President Trump saying he would “seriously look at” a ban on silencers and suppressors during his recent visit to the U.K.
After banning bump stocks, President Trump signals he may ban silencers – which are rarely used in crimes.
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