Supreme Court won’t take up guns in churches issue

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a…

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a challenge to a Georgia law that prohibits guns in places of worship.

That leaves in place a decision last summer by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejecting a claim by the gun rights group that worshippers had the constitutional right to arm themselves for their own protection while they are in a church, synagogue or a mosque. The federal appeals court last summer also turned away a Second Amendment claim, writing that an individual right to carry a gun into a place of worship does not trump a private property owner’s right to “exclusively control who is allowed on the premises and under what circumstances.”

Consequently, a split remains among the lower courts: the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that covers Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the 11th U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals that includes Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

The initial suit was filed after the 2010 Legislature replaced the prohibition against guns at “public gatherings” with a list of specific kinds of places where people cannot carry their firearms. One of those was places of worship.

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