U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- In a somewhat shocking turn of events, the usually far left Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based out of San Franciso, CA ruled that the Second Amendment protects the right of the individual to carry a firearm openly in public for self-defense.
This decision is a sharp departure from their 2016 ruling in Peruta v. County of San Diego where the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the Second Amendment does not guarantee a right to carry a concealed firearm. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
In the current case, George Young sued the state of Hawaii in 2012 after the state denied him a permit to carry a gun in public. Hawaii officials argued that the Second Amendment only guarantees the right to bear arms in ones home. They claimed that there is no inherent right to carry firearms outside one’s house.
The three-judge panel was split on the decision but ruled in Young’s favor by a two-to-one margin. The court said that Hawaii did indeed infringe on Young’s Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment.
“Once identified as an individual right focused on self-defense, the right to bear arms must guarantee some right to self-defense in public,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority. “While the concealed carry of firearms categorically falls outside such protection, we are satisfied that the Second Amendment encompasses a right to carry a firearm openly in public for self-defense.”
“We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence,” wrote the Reagan appointed Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain. “But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
Judge Sandra Segal Ikuta joined Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain in the majority.
“While the amendment’s guarantee of a right to ‘keep’ arms effectuates the core purpose of self-defense within the home, the separate right to ‘bear’ arms protects that core purpose outside the home,” said the majority decision.
Judge Richard Clifton, who was appointed by George W. Bush, was the lone dissenting voice. He argued that Hawaii could place limitations on the public carrying of firearms. He stated that such restrictions, “do not undercut the core of the Second Amendment.”
This decision only applies to people who open carry a firearm. The court made sure to clarify it does not apply to people who want to carry their gun concealed.
This case seems destined to go to the Supreme Court, which has not heard a gun case since Heller in 2010. All parties seem to think the highest court in the land is going to take up the case.
With Justice Kennedy retired and Donald Trump’s nominee of Brett Kavanaugh being oriented pro-gun it seems that this could be a significant victory for the Second Amendment. As we have seen in the past, there is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will hear the case.
The Ninth Circuit ruling will most likely bring gun rights to the forefront of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing since he has a pro-Second Amendment stance. Outside abortion, gun control is the top issue for Democrats when looking at judges for federal positions and the position of Supreme Court Justice is no different.
Hawaii could choose not to appeal the ruling as DC decided not to appeal the ruling in their court case about carrying concealed guns in public. DC chose not to appeal the ruling in that case to the Supreme Court at the behest of other states to avoid a chance at loosening gun laws across the country.
It seems unlikely that Hawaii will not appeal the decision.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.