A gun store owner holds an assault-style AR-15 rifle
A gun store owner holds an assault-style AR-15 rifle

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Less than a week after Omar Mateen used an AR-15 assault-style rifle to carry out the deadliest mass-shooting in U.S. history, the constitutionality of a ban on such weapons is scheduled to come before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. left at least 50 dead and injured several others.

At a regularly scheduled conference Thursday, the Court will decide whether to grant a full review of the case, Shew v. Malloy, which challenges Connecticut laws that were enacted after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The shooter in that attack, which resulted in the killing of 20 children and six educators, mainly used an AR-15. Additionally, an AR-15 was used in the Dec. 2015 terror-motivated shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. which killed 14 people. The rifle was also one of three different weapons used in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting in July 2012, which killed 12 people.

Las October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the Connecticut laws, which additionally ban the usage of large capacity magazines. During the Sandy Hook shooting, the attacker used multiple 30-round magazines, he fired 154 rounds in less than five minutes.

The laws are being challenged by three gun-rights organizations, the Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League, the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsman, and MD (as in Maryland) Shooting Sports. These groups have argued that the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms” either flatly prohibit the ban or that the appeals court used too relaxed of a standard in approving the bans. The groups additionally claim that the bans in question focus on too broad a spectrum of weapons and accessories, and that those products can be, and for the most part are, used lawfully.

Connecticut is currently just one of seven states in the U.S. that has an active ban on assault-style weapons.

There is currently much speculation around the decision, and experts have opined that they believe the Court will not take the case.

The Court in the past has swayed away from several cases which sought to clarify Second Amendment issues since 2008, when it established the amendment does, indeed, protect individuals’ rights to own guns (as opposed to their right to possess them as part of a community’s “militia”) and, in 2010, that the right binds not merely the federal government, but state governments as well.

Both of those cases, District of Columbia v. Heller andMcDonald v. City of Chicago, were decided by bare 5-4 margins. In each case, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion, and the rest of the Court voted along familiar ideological lines.

Scalia’s death in February, and the Senate’s stated determination to not replace him until after November’s presidential election, leaves the Court dramatically and evenly split on most Second Amendment issues, which only feeds the speculation the case will not be heard.

The AR-15 was originally designed by Armalite as a military weapon. The military version, however, has a fully-automatic setting — meaning you can fire the weapon as a machine gun. Civilian versions of the AR-15 have only semi-automatic capabilities, and are are now made by many manufacturers, including Colt and Bushmaster.

According to various gun-rights groups’ briefs, the AR-15 is “the best-selling rifle type in the United States.”