Yes, you read the headline correctly. The NRA Open Carry lawsuit opposes Open Carry.
And don’t say I didn’t warn you that the National Rifle Association had no intention of making a viable challenge to California’s Open Carry bans. I’ve been writing about the NRA’s fake Open Carry lawsuit for over a year.
The NRA lawyers spent the better part of a decade arguing to uphold California’s Open Carry bans including the 1967 ban on Loaded Open Carry, a ban the NRA endorsed and helped write.
And let us not forget that in the very same lawsuit, Peruta v. San Diego, the NRA argued in support of California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 which prohibits the carrying of handguns within 1000 feet of a K-12 public or private school unless a person falls into one of the few narrow exemptions, such as having a concealed carry permit.
Motions for Summary Judgment filed in Flanagan v. Harris (now v. Becerra)
On September 11, 2017, both the State of California and the NRA filed their motions for summary judgment in Flanagan v. Harris (now v. Becerra). If either motion is granted then the lawsuit moves on up to the 9th circuit court of appeals which has already held that there is no right of the general public to carry a handgun concealed in public.
So what did the NRA argue in its motion for summary judgment in Flanagan v. Harris? The NRA argued that it has a right to carry in “some manner” and left no doubt that the manner in which its plaintiffs want to carry a handgun is concealed.
NRA Lead Plaintiff Opposes Open Carry
How do we know? Because three of the plaintiffs, including the lead plaintiff, told the state’s attorney exactly that in their sworn depositions.
Moreover, nowhere in its motion for summary judgment does the NRA challenge the constitutionality of California’s Open Carry bans.
And nowhere in any of the NRA’s filings do the plaintiffs articulate any plan, let alone a concrete plan to violate California’s Open Carry bans which is an essential prerequisite for challenging a law in the 9th circuit.
The state’s attorney, on the other hand, did what he failed to do in my California Open Carry lawsuit (Nichols v. Brown), he filed over 700 pages in support of California’s Open Carry bans.
Deja Vu All Over Again
I am reminded of a concealed carry lawsuit argued in the 10th circuit court of appeals a few years back. The plaintiff in that lawsuit did not challenge Denver’s Open Carry ban. Instead he challenged the denial of a concealed carry permit because that was the only way he could carry a handgun in Denver.
On appeal, he said that he would reluctantly carry openly if that were the only way he could carry a handgun.
The 10th circuit court of appeals excoriated him for not challenging the Denver Open Carry ban in his complaint, noting that he stated at least eight times in his complaint that he wants to carry concealed but nowhere did he state that he wanted to carry openly.
Same thing here in Flanagan v. Harris. Nowhere do any of the plaintiffs say they want to openly carry a firearm anywhere. Just the opposite, they say they don’t want to openly carry anywhere and state in their motion for summary judgment that they will be seeking concealed carry permits on appeal.
In short, they don’t have standing to challenge California’s Open Carry bans even if they had intended to challenge California’s Open Carry bans. Which they never intended.
Indeed, in their complaint filed over a year ago, instead of challenging the California law prohibiting the issuance of handgun Open Carry licenses in counties with a population of 200,000 or more people, the NRA asked that the law providing for the issuance of handgun Open Carry licenses be struck down and that the plaintiffs should be granted concealed carry permits.
The NRA Really, Really Hates Open Carry
If you are one of the few people who have a license to openly carry a handgun then don’t worry, the NRA forgot to ask for an injunction against the California handgun Open Carry law in its motion for summary judgment.
Fortunately, my California Open Carry lawsuit (which is not limited to the carrying of handguns) should be decided long before the NRA gets a chance to file its Opening Brief on appeal.
But if the NRA makes it that far, I’m certain that all of the so called gun-rights groups which filed Amicus Briefs in Peruta v. San Diego in support of the NRA’s argument that states can ban Open Carry in favor of concealed carry will likewise file Amicus briefs in Flanagan v. Harris.
Because all of the so called gun-rights groups hate Open Carry despite what they tell their membership.
All of the relevant briefs and filings in Flanagan v. Harris are available for free at my website as are the relevant briefs and filings in my appeal, Nichols v. Brown, challenging California’s Open Carry bans.