Do You Have a Right to Carry a Handgun Concealed in Public?
You Have a Right to Openly Carry a Handgun in PublicThe US Supreme Court has said in three separate opinions that you have a right to openly carry a handgun in public but there is no right to carry a handgun concealed in public except for perhaps travelers on a journey.
Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled oral arguments in two cases out of California and one out of Hawaii which seek to force the issuance of permits to carry concealed weapons.
The oral arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 9:00 AM - Courtroom 1, 3rd Floor - James R. Browning US Courthouse - San Francisco, CA.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals Bound By US Supreme Court
The attorneys for the three cases have all submitted their briefs. Each is making a different argument and each will lose because the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is bound by US Supreme Court precedents saying that states can prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed.
Beyond that, the three cases have fatal technical defects which will cause them to lose as well.
The National Rifle Association, through its state affiliate the California Rifle and Pistol Association, chose not to challenge the constitutionality of ANY California statute. This means there is no "case or controversy" for the 9th Circuit Court to decide upon. "Case or controversy" is a requirement of Federal Courts under the US Constitution before they can issue a decision.
Prohibitions on Concealed Carry are Always Unconstitutional
The Second Amendment Foundation in conjunction with the CalGuns Foundation is arguing that prohibitions on concealed carry are always unconstitutional. They have not cited any Federal precedents to support their argument because there aren't any. Nor have they cited any California precedents to support their argument and can't, California has had restrictions on carrying concealed weapons since its first laws were passed in 1853.
The NRA/CRPA/SAF/CalGuns are arguing that states can ban Open Carry, which is the exact opposite of what the US Supreme Court said in its 2008 decision District of Columbia v. Heller:
"Likewise, in State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489, 490 (1850), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that citizens had a right to carry arms openly: "This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.""
Secret Advantages and Unmanly Assassinations
"Secret advantages and unmanly assassinations." is hardly a ringing endorsement for carrying concealed weapons. According to the US Supreme Court Open Carry is noble, concealed carry is unmanly.
Both of these cases will lose.
In the third case out of Hawaii to be heard by the same three judge panel on the same day, the plaintiff hasn't decided what argument he is going to make which is why the 9th Circuit will kick the case back to the District Court. The Hawaii statute being challenged provides for the issuance of licenses to carry a loaded firearm openly or concealed and the plaintiff in the case hasn't clearly indicated whether his is an Open Carry or Concealed Carry challenge.
The 9th Circuit will tell him to go back to the District Court judge and amend his complaint to clearly state whether he is seeking a license to carry a firearm openly or concealed.
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