9th Circuit Court: No right to carry without ‘good cause’
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 7-4 vote on June 9 upheld a California law that says applicants must cite a “good cause” to obtain a concealed-carry permit, essentially ruling Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public.
In a decision that could ultimately wind up before the Supreme Court, the 9th Circuit Court said local law enforcement officials can place significant restrictions on who is allowed to carry concealed guns.
“We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public,” Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher wrote for the majority in a statement published by the Associated Press.
In a dissent, Circuit Judge Consuelo M. Callahan said the ruling “obliterates the Second Amendment’s right to bear a firearm in some manner in public for self-defense.”
The long-anticipated ruling in Peruta v. San Diego overturned a 2014 decision by a three-judge panel of the same court that said applicants need only express a desire for personal safety.
The 9th Circuit covers nine Western states, but only California and Hawaii are directly affected by the ruling because the others do not require permit applicants to cite a “good cause.” Three other federal appeals courts have ruled similarly in the past, upholding California-like restrictions in New York, Maryland and New Jersey.
The National Rifle Association’s legislative chief Chris W. Cox called the ruling “out of touch” in a statement
“This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection,” Cox said.
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DO NOT STAND IDLY BY
New approach or wolves in wool?
A grassroots alliance of religious and civic leaders calling itself Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) is lobbying Congress to lobby state and local governments to invest in smart-gun technology as a way to create a viable market for gun manufacturers to make purported high-tech safety measures affordable.
Rather than plunge into the heated partisan debate in Congress over expanded background checks and other gun-control measures, DNSIB instead wants Congress to encourage federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to engage gun manufacturers on developing smart guns as part of the contracting process.
According to DNSIB, if police agencies spent 40 percent of their firearms budgets on smart guns, that could give manufacturers the incentive to develop smart-gun technology for the general public.
“We are in this for the long haul,’’ Rabbi Michael Friedman of Westport, Conn., told Dan Freedman of the Connecticut Post on June 7. “We are people of faith. We know this may take a while, but we are not going to give up.’’
“There is no panacea,’’ Pastor Anthony Bennett of Bridgeport, Conn., told the Connecticut Post’s Freedman. But “this is utilizing the free market. (Government) will create a demand, just like in other industries.’’
The Do Not Stand Idly By campaign was launched by the faith leaders in the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (Metro IAF) network, a national community organizing network established in 1940 by Saul Alinsky, Roman Catholic Bishop Bernard James Sheil and businessman and founder of the Chicago Sun-Times, Marshall Field III.
Alinsky was a Jewish American community organizer and writer, is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, published one year before his death.
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Bloomberg’s bucks to blitz Maine before November ballot vote
Gun control proponents have collected more than $3 million — including $1.7 million from a front group financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — in their ballot initiative campaign to require background checks on all gun transfers between unlicensed firearm dealers.
Mainers for Responsible Gun Ownership, which is spearheading the initiative campaign, now has a thousand times the $30,000 budget the National Rifle Association and other gun owner groups have cobbled together to battle Bloomberg.
Mainers for Responsible Gun Ownership—a merger of Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and Mainers for Responsible Gun Ownership—will use $1.4 million of Bloomberg’s money to pay Windham-based Gum Spirits Productions to produce television ads.
In November, Maine voters will consider a ballot initiative requiring background checks before gun transfers between unlicensed firearm dealers. The measure has family, hunting and self-defense exceptions.
The group raises the specter of the NRA boogieman in appealing to the TV-educated for more money. “We also know that, around the country, the gun lobby has been very effective at raising and spending large sums of money to influence public opinion on these types of issues,” Mainers for Responsible Gun Ownership Campaign Manager David Farmer told Steve Mistler of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) on June 7. “So we take that very seriously.”
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Director David Trahan told MPBN that gun owners were prepared to be deluged by Bloomberg’s bucks.
“I expected from day one that Bloomberg, being a billionaire, was going to spend whatever it took to win the issue,” he said. “So this is no surprise to me. I expect this to be a $6 million-$7 million campaign on that side of the issue.”
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IN THE COURTS
Florida Carry makes its case for Constitutional Carry
Florida Carry attorney Eric Friday on June 8 argued before the Florida Supreme Court that the state’s concealed-weapons law violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which has no prohibition against against law-abiding citizens openly carry personal firearms.
Florida legislators during their recently concluded legislative session considered a proposed bill to allow concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry firearms, but the measure failed. By not passing the bill, Friday said lawmakers “deprived citizens of the substantive right to bear arms.”
In fact, the State House actually approved an open-carry bill with a provision that would have allowed state lawmakers to carry sidearms into legislative meetings in an 80-38 vote. However, the proposal was blocked in a Senate committee.
Friday and Florida Carry Florida are representing Dale Norman, who was arrested in 2012 while strolling with a visibly holstered weapon in Fort Pierce. Norman, then 24, had recently received a concealed-weapons license, and challenged the constitutionality of the law, but was unsuccessful in lower courts. A trial judge imposed a $300 fine and court costs on Norman.
Norman appealed to the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach. In February 2015, the court upheld the trial court’s view that the state law “does not improperly infringe on Florida’s constitutional guarantee, nor does it infringe on the ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment — the right of self-defense.”
According to the Associated Press, Justice Barbara Pariente questioned how a law allowing citizens to receive concealed-weapons licenses to carry firearms suppresses gun ownership. “This isn’t a ban,” she said. “It’s just a ban on the method of carrying that the Legislature has determined protects public safety more than people walking around like they’re in the wild west. “
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