On Wednesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Americans have no right to carry guns in public, therefore ruling that states can restrict such rights without breaching the Second Amendment.
In the 7 – 4 decision, the court upheld a county law in Hawaii which severely limited permits that are needed for the open carrying of guns. Judge Jay Bybee, appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote for the majority that “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.” The Judge went on to say that “we have never assumed that individuals have an unfettered right to carry weapons in public spaces.” Bybee also wrote that “Indeed, we can find no general right to carry arms into the public square for self – defense.”
Bybee, who was joined by another Bush appointee and the courts five Democratic appointees, argued that a review of more than 700 years of American and English laws showed that the government has for a long time held the power to regulate arms in public spaces, stating that “The states do not violate the Second Amendment by asserting their longstanding English and American rights to prohibit certain weapons from entering those public spaces as means of providing ‘domestic tranquillity’ and forestalling ‘domestic violence’.”
The ruling is the result of a 2012 lawsuit filed by George Young, in the suit he sued the State of Hawaii for denying permit applications to carry a concealed or openly visible handgun. Hawaii State law requires a licence to carry a gun in public and a Hawaii County regulation states that licences are only granted by the police chief to those who need it for their jobs or who have a reason to “fear injury.” In July of 2018, a three Judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled 2 -1 that carrying a gun in public is a right guaranteed by the constitution, of course this decision has now been reversed.
Whilst on Hawaii Public Radio in 2019 Young told listeners that “My right is, I can carry a gun openly. That don’t mean I gotta carry every day. You know, that’s stupid, it’s ridiculous. But I have a right to use a weapon in self – defense.” At the time Young also believed that his case was likely to reach the Supreme Court, which he believed would rule in his favour. The decision taken on Wednesday is likely to encourage the Supreme Court to review the issue, partly because Federal appellate courts have handed down conflicting rulings on gun laws that only the high court can resolve. The decision will affect nine western states which make up the 9th Circuit.
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ARTICLE: NATHAN REID
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WASHINGTON TIMES