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Featurer Article: Right To Carry

Court ruling confirms right to ‘open carry’

Special to Wester Outdoor NewsPublished: Aug 09, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court has ruled Hawaii’s limitation on the open carry of firearms to those ‘Engaged in the protection of life and property’ violates the core of the Second Amendment and is void; the County may not constitutionally enforce such a limitation on applicants for open carry licenses.”

Second Amendment advocates say this decision will likely lead to an eventual hearing before the United States Supreme Court.


Gun control advocates were extremely disappointed when America’s largest circuit recognized that the Second Amendment protects a right to openly carry loaded firearms in public for self-defense. The ruling came Tuesday in the case of Young v. State of Hawaii.


“The right to bear arms must include, at the least, the right to carry a firearm openly for self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority. The court therefore remanded the case to the lower court for further proceedings, presumably so it could order Hawaii County to reevaluate Mr. Young’s application for an open carry license without regard to local regulations that effectively limit such licenses to carrying for professional purposes.


What this decision means for the other jurisdictions in the Ninth Circuit – which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands – remains to be seen. The court hinted, but did not decide, that a concealed carry licensing regime might be sufficient to protect the right to bear arms by offering an “alternative channel” for lawful public carry. It also made clear, however, that access to the right cannot be limited to “a small and insulated subset” but must include, as a rule, “the typical, law-abiding citizen.” It additionally went on to clarify that “nothing in our opinion … would prevent the State from regulating the right to bear arms,” provided the regulations did not render the right a mere “illusory promise.”


The anti-gun wing of the Ninth Circuit has few maneuvers left to continue to deny the constitutional right to bear firearms in public.


It would either have to be the first circuit to declare there was no such right at all or decide that a right the Constitution ascribes to “the people” applies only to a hand-selected few. So far, even the dominant liberal contingent of the Ninth Circuit has been unable to muster a majority opinion for either proposition.


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