Second Amendment Open Carry Opponents Meet in Houston to Lick Their Wounds

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The oddly named “Gun Rights Policy Conference” holds its annual meeting in Houston this weekend and, as in years past, its host, Alan Gottlieb the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, has chosen a location where the carrying of firearms is prohibited.

The list of speakers and participating organizations is a Who’s Who list of opponents of the Second Amendment Right to openly carry firearms for the purpose of self-defense.

Ironically, several of the speakers at the event are personally responsible for bringing Federal and State lawsuits which have upheld restrictions on carrying concealed handguns.

Concealed Carry Proponents Cause Their Own Problems

Case in point, one of the speakers on this weekend’s agenda is Gene Hoffman the Chairman of the Calguns Foundation and the most vocal opponent of Open Carry in the State of California. Mr. Hoffman has a concealed carry permit issued by the state of California. The County of San Mateo California has a local ordinance regulating the carrying of firearms in its parks and recreation areas.

So Mr. Hoffman, through his attorney Donald Kilmer (also a speaker at the conference), brought a lawsuit in State Court arguing that the local ordinance is preempted by state law. The judge in the case noted that Mr. Kilmer had already lost a similar lawsuit and cited that case, Nordyke v. King in upholding the San Mateo County municipal ordinance.

Keep in mind that San Mateo County, prior to the lawsuit, had never contended that their municipal ordinance applied to persons who held valid state issued concealed carry permits. As a result of Mr. Hoffman’s lawsuit, now it does and there is now a published, binding precedent for every city and county in the state to prohibit the concealed carry of weapons on their property, even for those who hold a state license.

Prize For Losing The Most Lawsuits

Alan Gura is also a speaker this weekend. He, like Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Hoffman believes that, contrary to the US Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, states can ban the Open Carry of firearms, particularly handguns, and having done so must issue permits to carry handguns concealed. Mr. Gura’s argument is that states can choose concealed carry over open carry and, oh by the way, the only persons allowed to carry a concealed weapon must have a government issued permission slip.

Mr. Gura should be the recipient of the prize for the one man who has lost the most concealed carry lawsuits since the 2008 Supreme Court decision in Heller.

Thanks to Mr. Gura and those who sign his paycheck (e.g., Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Hoffman), there are now binding Federal precedents upholding prohibitions on concealed carry in half the Federal Appellate districts in this country. Namely, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Right To Open Carry Guaranteed By The Constitution

Even in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which the Second Amendment Foundation hailed as a “victory” the judge who wrote the opinion said that Illinois can prohibit concealed carry because the US Supreme Court decision in Heller said that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Constitution and that states can prohibit concealed carry.

The US Supreme Court turned down Mr. Gura’s petition to hear his case out of the 2nd Circuit. He now has another cert petition pending in his losing case out of the 4th Circuit and says he will be filing a cert petition in his losing case out of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The US Supreme Court has turned down every cert petition which involves concealed carry since its 2008 Heller decision.

Mr. Gura is now appealing another concealed carry case, this time in the Federal Court of appeals for the 8th Circuit.

There aren’t very many Federal Appellate courts left in which the opponents of Open Carry haven’t lost their Quixotic quest for concealed carry.

Meanwhile, Charles Nichols the President of California Right to Carry continues his fight to restore Loaded Open Carry to California. His is the only lawsuit which argues that the US Supreme Court meant exactly what it said about Open Carry being the right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thanks to the failed legal efforts of those meeting this weekend in Houston, Mr. Nichols has a half dozen Federal Appellate court decisions from outside the 9th Circuit which support his Open Carry lawsuit.