Federal Judge Gives CA Lawsuit Seeking to Openly Carry Firearms The Green Light
A Federal judge in California has paved the way for a lawsuit which, if successful, will restore the ability of Californians to openly carry a loaded firearm in public for the first time since it was banned in July of 1967.
The lawsuit was filed on November 30, 2011 by Charles Nichols, President of California Right To Carry. The Federal judge had last year proceeded on the assumption that there was no right to openly carry a loaded firearm in public and placed a very high hurdle in the path of Mr. Nichols to obtain standing to proceed with his lawsuit.
Attorney General Harris had, in effect, argued that until Mr. Nichols was arrested and prosecuted by the Attorney General that he would not have "standing" to proceed with his lawsuit.
Federal Judge S. James Otero disagreed with the Attorney General's position and noted that Mr. Nichols had already been arrested for openly carrying a firearm in public by the City of Redondo Beach California for which he is currently being prosecuted.*
Ironically, the likelihood of success for Mr. Nichols' lawsuit has been greatly improved by a slew of failed lawsuits seeking to ban Open Carry in favor of concealed carry permits. These lawsuits opposing Open Carry were all supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), CalGuns Foundation and/or by their attorneys. The NRA Members' Councils of California went so far as to send a letter out to its members opposing Mr. Nichols' lawsuit.
Mr. Nichols in his Federal lawsuit seeks: an injunction against California's 1967 ban on openly carrying a loaded firearm in public, an injunction against a California law which restricts licenses to openly carry a loaded handgun in public to residents of California counties with a population of fewer than 200,000 people, and an injunction against the Redondo Beach municipal ordinance which bans all weapons in all public places within the city.
Judge Otero has withheld a decision on the municipal ordinance pending the conclusion of Mr. Nichols' criminal trial but has granted Mr. Nichols leave to amend his complaint to seek monetary damages against the City of Redondo Beach for arresting and prosecuting Mr. Nichols for violating its municipal ordinance and for unlawfully seizing his firearm. An ordinance which Federal Judge Otero and Magistrate Judge Segal had told the City of Redondo Beach back in 2012 is unlawful under the California Constitution.
If Mr. Nichols wins his lawsuit, it would render the recently enacted bans on openly carrying unloaded firearms in California irrelevant.
Related Top Stories News