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Supreme Court Rejects Challenge Against California's 'Cooling Off' Period for Buying Guns

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to a California law that enforces a 10-day waiting period after all gun purchases.

The court found California's "cooling off" period to be a "reasonable safety precaution," and says the mandated period between the gun purchase and acquisition does not violate the Second Amendment. The law applies to purchases by new gun owners, and to those by residents who already own firearms.

Two California residents and two pro-gun non-profit organizations argued that the law violated the Second Amendment by enforcing the waiting period for "subsequent purchasers"; that is, people who are already logged as firearm owners, according to California's AFS database, who have a valid concealed-carry license, or who pass the background test before the 10-day waiting period is over.

The Supreme Court continues to pass on cases that address the nation's gun debate. In 2008 and 2010, the court issued two important gun rulings that addressed individuals' rights to possess firearms, but has not taken up another Second Amendment case since then. On Tuesday, Justice Clarence Thomas expressed his dissent and criticized the court's avoidance of cases that address the gun laws.

"As evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this court," Thomas wrote. "The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this court's constitutional orphan. And the lower courts seem to have gotten the message."

Before the case went to the Supreme Court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law, finding the period to be a valid safety precaution. The Supreme Court's decision to refuse to hear the challenge means the law will remain in effect.