U.S. Court Rules Open Carry Legal, Protected by Second Amendment
Russ Chastain 07.25.18
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — yes, the same court that recently gained anti-gun Trump nominee Mark Bennett — has just made what some call a landmark ruling and is being touted as a huge win for Second Amendment rights. Me, I say we shouldn’t allow courts to make law because the Constitution says they can’t, but nobody seems to care about that these days.
Anyhow, the ruling was that the Second Amendment absolutely does guarantee citizens the right to openly carry firearms in public for self defense.
Here’s the meaty part:
[O]nce identified as an individual right focused on self-defense, the right to bear arms must guarantee some right to self-defense in public.
In other words: Because our 2A rights guarantee us weapons as an effective means of self-defense, said rights are useless unless they apply when we are most vulnerable, i.e. when we are out in public.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Hawaiian officials had violated George Young’s rights when he was denied a permit to openly carry a loaded gun in public to protect himself.
The decision reversed a lower court ruling that sided with officials who said the amendment only applied to guns kept in homes.
‘We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence, which the State of Hawaii “has understandably sought to fight,”‘ Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote. ‘But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.’
And a longer quote lifted from Firearms Unknown:
The panel acknowledged that while the concealed carry of firearms categorically falls outside Second Amendment protection, see Peruta v. County of San Diego, it was satisfied that the Second Amendment encompasses a right to carry a firearm openly in public for self-defense. Analyzing the text of the Second Amendment and reviewing the relevant history, including founding-era treatises and nineteenth century case law, the panel stated that it was unpersuaded by the County’s and the State’s argument that the Second Amendment only has force within the home. The panel stated that once identified as an individual right focused on self-defense, the right to bear arms must guarantee some right to self-defense in public. The panel held that because Hawaii law restricted plaintiff in exercising the right to carry a firearm openly, it burdened conduct protected by the Second Amendment.
In determining the appropriate level of scrutiny to apply to [the law restricting and regulating carry] the panel first held that the right to carry a firearm openly for self-defense falls within the core of the Second Amendment. The panel stated that restricting open carry to those whose job entails protecting life or property necessarily restricts open carry to a small and insulated subset of law-abiding citizens. The panel reasoned that the typical, law-abiding citizen in the State of Hawaii was entirely foreclosed from exercising the core Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense. The panel concluded that Hawaii’s limitation on the open carry of firearms to those “engaged in the protection of life and property” violated the core of the Second Amendment and was void under any level of scrutiny.
And while I’m still a fuddy-duddy about the role of courts in the USA, I also agree that this must seen as good news for gun rights. Which makes this, my friends, a pretty good week.