California’s Bans on Openly Carrying Loaded and Unloaded Firearms
The fate of a Preliminary Injunction against California’s bans on openly carrying loaded and unloaded firearms is now in the hands of a Federal District Court judge in Los Angeles. If the injunction is issued it will be legal to openly carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, in many public places where it was legal to openly carry an unloaded firearm prior to the recently enacted bans on unloaded Open Carry going into effect. The case is Nichols v. Brown brought by Charles Nichols, President of California Right To Carry.
If the injunction is issued, it would still be generally illegal to carry firearms in government buildings and state parks, except where allowed by law and it would still be illegal to carry a loaded firearm within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public or private school.
Three Separate Challenges to California’s Law
There are also three separate challenges to California’s law giving Sheriffs and police chiefs the final say in who can be issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon which have been taken under submission by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The district court judge assigned to Mr. Nichols’ Open Carry lawsuit has said they are not relevant to his decision and so we can expect his ruling on the preliminary injunction sometime this month.
The 9th Circuit usually issues its decisions in cases involving the Second Amendment within weeks. The longest decision took three months and that was decided after a rare en banc (“full court”) hearing by the 9th Circuit.
Still No Decision By The Appellate Court
However, those cases were heard six months ago and there is still no decision by the appellate court. It would appear that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is waiting for the challenge to California’s ban on openly carried firearms to be heard before issuing their decisions on concealed carry.
Given that every Federal Appellate Court has upheld restrictions on concealed carry because the US Supreme Court said that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Constitution and that states can prohibit concealed carry, it is unlikely that the challenges to California’s concealed carry law will succeed.
US Supreme Court Recently Turned Down An Appeal
The US Supreme Court recently turned down an appeal to a decision upholding New York’s concealed carry law which requires one to have a heightened need before being issued a permit to carry a concealed handgun. In the five years since its landmark ruling on the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court has turned down every concealed carry appeal.