According to The Lost Angeles Times
As the nation debates gun control following two mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, a California-based federal appeals court decided Wednesday that states may restrict the open carrying of guns without running afoul of the 2nd Amendment.
In a 7-4 decision, an en banc panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a county law in Hawaii that has severely limited permits for open carrying of guns.
“The government may regulate, and even prohibit, in public places — including government buildings, churches, schools, and markets — the open carrying of small arms capable of being concealed, whether they are carried concealed or openly,” Judge Jay Bybee.
Bybee, writing for the 9th Circuit, said a review of more than 700 years of American and English law showed that government has long had the power to regulate arms in public places.
“We have never assumed that individuals have an unfettered right to carry weapons in public spaces,” Bybee wrote. “Indeed, we can find no general right to carry arms into the public square for self-defense.”
Wednesday’s decision overturned a 2-1 ruling in the same case a year ago by a 9th Circuit panel.
Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, writing the lead dissent Wednesday, called the majority decision “unprecedented” and “extreme.”
“At its core,” wrote O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee who was joined by other Republican appointees, “the 2nd Amendment protects the ordinary, law-abiding citizen’s right to carry a handgun openly for purposes of self-defense outside the home. Despite an exhaustive historical account, the majority has unearthed nothing to disturb this conclusion.”
A gun control group praised Wednesday’s ruling and noted that the Supreme Court would consider this week whether to review a similar case out of New York.
“Today’s ruling, joined by respected appellate judges across the ideological spectrum, is the latest reminder that arguments against reasonable, life-saving gun laws rarely hold up in the courtroom,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety.
The 9th Circuit has now decided that there is no constitutional right to carry a gun outside the home for self-protection, placing the court in direct conflict with other circuits and strengthening the chance the Supreme Court will step in and decide the issue, Beck said.
In California, only small towns can issue permits to openly carry guns and they rarely do so, he said. County sheriffs can issue permits for concealed guns upon a showing of “good cause” by the applicant, he said. In rural counties, such permits are often issued, but they are rarely approved in large cities, he said.
“It varies greatly from L.A. and San Francisco, where it is almost impossible to get, versus the rural counties,” he said. “That is just based on the sheriffs’ policies.”
Wednesday’s decision affects nine Western states, including California, that make up the 9th Circuit.