WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is leaving in place an appeals court ruling that concluded police can frisk someone they believe has a weapon.

The court declined Monday to take a case out of West Virginia in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit concluded that an officer who makes a lawful traffic stop and has a reasonable suspicion that one of the automobile’s occupants is armed may frisk that individual for the officer’s protection and the safety of everyone on the scene.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, joined by attorneys general for Indiana, Michigan, Texas and Utah, had asked the court to hear the case. Morrisey said innocent gun owners have the right to carry weapons “without the fear of being unreasonably searched.”