Thumbs up: Supreme Court sides with gun safety

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Yet again, the U.S. Supreme Court disappointed Second Amendment absolutists. We’re OK with that, and public opinion polls show that most Americans are, too. Eleven years ago, while overturning a ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, the justices said, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” and they cited examples including laws imposing conditions and qualifications on sales and prohibitions on carrying “dangerous and unusual weapons.” Consistent with that, the justices refused last week to review the case of two men convicted of violating a 1934 law regulating silencers.

Silencers, like machine guns, must be registered by their owners. That’s hardly onerous. We’d venture to guess most people would like to see them outlawed altogether — as they are in California. To its credit, the Trump administration urged the court to leave the convictions — and therefore the federal restrictions — in place. Thumbs up to the Supreme Court. But we won’t hold our breath waiting for the U.S. Senate to vote on another commonsense safety law: universal presale background checks, a proposal sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, and passed by the House.

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