Victory for gun control: Federal appeals court rules that the Second Amendment doesn’t confer “rights” to carry concealed weapons

This isn’t a brand-new interpretation of the law, but it’s yet another appeals court—this time in San Francisco—ruling that the Second Amendment of the Constitution (see below) does not mean that people have a “right” to carry concealed weapons in public. According to the New York Times, this ruling (7-4 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) not only overturned a court decision in the same circuit, but came in response to a challenge to California’s very stringent policy for allowing “concealed carry”: you have to show a very good reason for getting such a permit. (The suit was brought by Californians who were denied those permits.) And the new decision, absolutely in line with those of other federal appeals courts, is a severe setback for gun nuts and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

First, the Second Amendment:


Although the Supreme Court has rule that this means it’s constitutional for private citizens to have guns, and handguns, I’ve always disagreed. The Amendment mentions gun ownership for purposes of having a “well regulated militia,” and that’s not private ownership of guns for your own protection. (I’m not alone in this opinion: others who know more than I, like Garry Wills, agree.)

Regardless, although having guns still seems to be a constitutional right, concealing them in public places is not. From the NYT:

“Based on the overwhelming consensus of historical sources, we conclude that the protection of the Second Amendment — whatever the scope of that protection may be — simply does not extend to the carrying of concealed firearms in public by members of the general public,” the court said in a ruling written by Judge William A. Fletcher.

. . . “This is a huge decision,” said Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. “This is a major victory for gun control advocates. “

The Supreme Court has ruled that individuals have a right to possess a weapon in their home. Thursday’s ruling centers on the next frontier in the gun-control debate.

“Probably the most important battleground of the Second Amendment has been whether there is a right to carry guns outside the home, and if there is, to what extent can states and localities regulate that right,” said Jonathan E. Lowy, the director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

If you can’t conceal your weapon outside the home, then you have to carry it in your hand or on your hip, and that’s what you’ll have to do if you want a gun in California.

Further, it’s unlikely that an appeal would be heard by the Supreme Court (though the losers vow to appeal), because all appellate courts have agreed with the decision in California. The Supreme Court is loath to take up cases that have such a unanimity of opinion in lower courts.

Of course the NRA has issued its apocalyptic response:

“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,” Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

If you want to see the full court ruling, click on the screenshot below. Let me the take on this decision Greg Mayer emailed me, as he’s read the entire 89-page document:

I’ve just read the historical part of the court majority’s decision. It’s brilliant. They are aware that “bear arms” meant being in the militia, but that to argue that in this case, they would be defying the US Supreme Court. (They of course don’t come out and say this directly.) Rather, picking up on the Supreme Court’s holding that the Second Amendment codified a pre-existing right inherited from English law, they examine English law closely, and show that the prohibition of concealed weapons has been part of English law since the 13th century, and that this prohibition has survived the vicissitudes of dynastic and religious revolution (so that it can’t be said that the 2nd Amendment is about some later development in English law). To reinforce this, they then pick up on another part of the Supreme Court’s earlier analysis, which used the 14th Amendment to extend the 2nd Amendment to the states. [JAC: The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection of the laws to all United States citizens.] The Supremes said then that because a majority of states had Second Amendment-like laws, then the 14th Amendment therefore extended the 2nd Amendment to the states. So, for the current case, the majority decision shows that a clear majority of states prohibited concealed carry and/or gave legislatures broad powers of weapon regulation, so that, again, the pre-existing right being incorporated does NOT include concealed weapons.

It’s clear from their historical review that the right to bear arms is intimately linked to collective self defense (i.e., the militia or military), but, being barred from using this reasoning by the Supreme Court’s ruling that bearing arms is not connected to being in a militia, they find a way around that by showing that carrying concealed arms was not considered by the English to have anything to do with bearing arms (however that’s interpreted, even by the Supreme Court’s defective interpretation), and thus concealed arms are not within the ambit of the 2nd Amendment.

It’s really quite clever, and shows that some lawyers are really smart and knowledgeable.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 8.18.42 AM

And for a hilarious but pretty accurate piece on the Second Amendment’s meaning, see this short piece from the January 7, New Yorker.


h/t: Greg Mayer, Barry


  1. gary
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I fail to see the victory in this. It only means that criminals, you know the ones that could not care less about the law and will kill you for 5 dollars, will be the only ones conceal carrying.

    • tomh
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      You may as well say there’s no point in having laws against murder, or any other crime, since criminals will break those laws anyway.

      • gary
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        The law provides for punishing wrong doing, murder and other crimes deserve punishment. Please tell me who is harmed by an honest decent person conceal carrying.

        • Derek Freyberg
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          All of those who feel intimidated in public spaces by people without adequate training wandering around with lethal weapons.

          • gary
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            You are referring to the criminals, right?

            • Torbjörn Larsson
              Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


            • somer
              Posted June 11, 2016 at 4:19 am | Permalink

              why does an honest decent person feel an obsessive need for vigilante offence taking rather than relying on the police?? and does the honest decent person with a concealed weapon secretly hope to live in a gun proliferation violence fuelled world to honour their own type of masculinity and status, where they paint themselves as the “good guys” in the “battle”? Actually it just makes the whole society overall more violent

              • Jeffrey I Chang
                Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

                “why does an honest decent person feel an obsessive need for vigilante offence taking rather than relying on the police??”

                What is the response rate of police to 911 calls regarding imminent violence where harm is actually prevented?

                “and does the honest decent person with a concealed weapon secretly hope to live in a gun proliferation violence fuelled world to honour their own type of masculinity and status, where they paint themselves as the “good guys” in the “battle”? Actually it just makes the whole society overall more violent”

                What if they just do not want to be a victim of crime?

              • somer
                Posted June 12, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

                Concealed weapon in public is a danger to the public. Encouragement of guns full stop is incentive to spiralling gun killings. Might make you feel like a great power but just glorifies killing, vengeance and lawlessness full stop.
                And the country America looks like for homicide??? Russia.

                And why is this sort of thing is pretty much normal in America but NOT anywhere else in the developed world?
                Florida Pulse gay club attacked in Orlando – mass casualties
                Access to and attitude to guns – too many americans think they have a right to them as a symbol of independence and status. Once in a blue moon some civilian with a gun shoots a community attacker. Far more often the hitherto apparently decent civilian is a mass shooter who is only finally shot by the police (or shoots self when corned) after mass killings.
                You Have to have guns and more guns because of the mentality. Its an attitude thing fanned higher by the national rifle association.

          • Jeff C
            Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            California requires 16 hours of training with range time.

        • Scott Draper
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          “who is harmed by an honest decent person”

          You mean like that honest, decent retired police captain who pulled out a gun and killed a guy in the movie theater for texting?

          • gary
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            No that is not who I mean, I mean the 100s of thousands/millions of people that carry and never have nor ever will hurt anybody.

            • tomh
              Posted June 10, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

              So you have no concern over the 800+ people killed
              in the last nine years by conceal carry permit holders, virtually none of whom were killed in self defense. It’s more important to you that you can walk around with a gun in your pocket, under the illusion that you’re protecting yourself. George Zimmerman would be proud of you. Another vigilante cowboy.

              • gary
                Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

                What words in my post say that I don’t care?
                Being that they are seldom reported how do you know how many crimes were stopped by people carrying?
                Being that I don’t carry, your assumption that I do, says a lot about your biases.
                I’ve never gone out looking for criminals nor do I own any cows.

              • Jeffrey I Chang
                Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

                That assessment is deeply flawed.


                And let’s take the 800 people over the last 9 years to mean that out of the 10 million CCW permit holders about 111 will commit murder (usually interpersonal) in a given year.

                111 deaths (even using the flawed stats) out of 10 million.

              • tomh
                Posted June 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

                Gee, a web site run by a Fox News columnist, who’s written books like, “More Guns, Less Crime,” disputing facts on gun deaths. What a surprise.

            • Scott Draper
              Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

              What magic power do you have that allows you to identify the people who will never kill anyone?

              • Jeffrey I Chang
                Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

                “What magic power do you have that allows you to identify the people who will never kill anyone?”

                What magical powers does the Immigration service have to guarantee that a Muslim we let into a country will not become a terrorist?

                Did you go to Trump University?

              • Posted June 11, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

                Okay, that’s enough trolling. We can do without the insults like “Trump University”. Apologize to Mr. Draper or you’ll never post here again. Did you read the Roolz on the sidebar?

              • Scott Draper
                Posted June 11, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                This is an irrelevant comment to the thread and looks to be an insult, so you earn two demerits.

        • Dee
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          What harm does it cause an honest decent person to justify concealment? What harm does it cause an honest decent person to open carry? Considering the potential impact to others, and the fact that justification for conceal doesn’t impact ownership in any way, I don’t see the problem. Especially if the main argument is “well the bad guys conceal carry and they don’t have to justify”. So? I bet they don’t hesitate to drive on an expired license either.

          • gary
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            Unfortunately requirements for justification is variable depending on the politics of the people making the decision, that is the impact.
            It is my understanding that open carry is illegal in California leaving no options.

        • Jeremy Tarone
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          The problem with “honest decent persons” conceal carrying or open carrying is “honest decent persons” get into difficulties, arguments, or have bad days, and the next thing you know what would have otherwise been a minor incident explodes into a homicide. There is a reason why the USA has a homicide rate so much higher than most other Western Industrial countries. It’s because so many Americans are walking around with, or have a handy firearm that they can use when they get angry, turning that “honest decent person” into a criminal and a murderer in seconds. It happens all over the USA every single day. In fact it’s the only country in the world where it regularly happens with and to toddlers.

          I just don’t understand how Americans can see toddlers shooting themselves and other people on a regular basis and not see you have a problem.

          • Jeffrey I Chang
            Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            “The problem with “honest decent persons” conceal carrying or open carrying is “honest decent persons” get into difficulties, arguments, or have bad days, and the next thing you know what would have otherwise been a minor incident explodes into a homicide.”

            So you can provide the rate of murder convictions for CCW permit holders?

            • Jeremy Tarone
              Posted June 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

              Are you suggesting people with firearms don’t ever get themselves into trouble by losing their temper?
              Don’t be absurd.
              You think hiding their firearms prevents them from having the same human reactions as those who carry openly?
              Concealed carry is part and parcel of America’s larger firearm death statistics. It’s disingenuous to try to separate them as if they are somehow special.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      If conceal carry is outlawed, only outlaws will conceal carry. Yeah, yeah, I’ve already heard that stupid argument…the NRA’s favorite trope.

      • gary
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        I may hate the NRA as much as you do, but even they are capable of making a valid point. Please explain just what is wrong with the argument you refer to.

        • Mark R.
          Posted June 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Explanation is already ample within this thread.

    • teacupoftheapocalypse
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      I am going to hazard a guess that this guy was earlier walking the streets of Orlando with his gun concealed. I’ll also hazard a guess that he had no prior criminal record.

      If the, as yet unnamed, killer did not have access to a gun, what would he have done? Shot his mouth off for a while? Perhaps it was his twisted version of firing Cupid’s arrow.?

      What is not at doubt, is that without free access to guns, Ms Grimmie would still be singing tonight. As would John Lennon and Lana Clarkson.

      People don’t kill people without access to weapons.

      • somer
        Posted June 11, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink


      • Jeffrey I Chang
        Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Was the man a permitted firearms holder allowing concealed carry?

        • Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          You’ve made six comments in a row in about five minutes. That’s enough. Have you read the Roolz?

  2. dunnfjfrancis
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


  3. Tom
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Surely the NRA has been misquoted or do they really mean the chief danger in California counties is the LAW OFFICER?

    • Kevin
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      “Hostile sheriffs”?? That’s not likely to gain friends among the police departments. NRA, though sinkith thyself.

    • gluonspring
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I believe the law in some places is that you can conceal carry if you have a “particular reason”, which you have to justify to the sheriff or some other official. So their point is that if the sheriff is hostile to your petition you can’t carry.

      • gluonspring
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        That is, they aren’t saying you need a gun to defend against the sheriff, or even to protect yourself in a county where the sheriff refuses to protect you. They are just saying a sheriff may have the power to deny your carry permit.

  4. Stonyground
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Just a slight aside. I like the song ‘Trigger Happy’ by Weird Al Yankovich. Done in the style of the Beach Boys, I think that it sums up the mentality of the gun nuts quite well.

  5. Derek Freyberg
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see the Supreme Court taking this one up, though I understand there is now an inter-circuit split on a right to concealed carry.
    Open carry of a loaded weapon is, as far as I know, generally illegal here in California: there are obvious exceptions for security guards with the appropriate permit and so on. The immediately preceding issue here was open carry of unloaded weapons, but that is now prohibited by state law.

  6. Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Soon the refrain “They’re comin’ to take all yer guns” will become deafening. The gun nuts will also proclaim that their prophesies of the past 8 years are finally being realized.

    “Load ’em, boys. They’re comin’ to take your guns right out of your stone, cold, dead hands” will be heard on every right-wing nutbag radio show from Savage to Beck and Bakker.

    Bakke will triple his sales of buckets of Mexican food, you know, the food that passes the “Mexican test.”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      *Mexican* food? Just wait till Trump gets round to him…


  7. John Conoboy
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Fortunately, for this ruling, Justice Scalia is gone. Had he still be on the court, it would be more likely that they would review this case. Should the Republican party take the presidency and appoint more Scalia clones, then I would not be surprised to see the court review and overturn this. For anyone who likes legal trivia, one prominent jurist who maintained that the right to bear arms was tied to the militia was Robert Bork.

    • gluonspring
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I do like that trivia.

  8. C. Morano
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Of course, this will have zero effect on violence and crime where a tiny percentage of our society is committing the overwhelming majority of gun violence. Criminals will continue to ignore gun laws and safety regulations. The only real solution to gun violence is instituting a police state of emergency in a few cities.

  9. tomh
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    gary wrote:
    “Please tell me who is harmed by an honest decent person conceal carrying.”

    Well, for starters, how about the hundreds of people who have been killed by concealed carry permit holders. These incidents include homicides, suicides, mass shootings, murder-suicides, lethal attacks on law enforcement, and unintentional deaths. Only a tiny fraction of these cases are ever ruled to be in self-defense. Personally, I would rather see open carry, which at least gives me a chance to get out of range, instead of concealed, which takes one by surprise when the yahoo who is carrying decides to play cowboy.

  10. Jonathan Dore
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Greg Mayer’s summary of the historical reasoning is fascinating, but that reasoning is a fine example of the kind of byzantine legalistic chicanery one has to engage in only when the system itself is so sclerotic that common sense can no longer operate because meaningful legal change is impossible. As a Brit, on balance I think the UK would benefit from having a unified constitutional document, but there are serious downsides to it as well, and this illustrates the main one: A constitution simply shouldn’t be so hard to change that a monstrosity like the 2nd amendment is still, in the 21st century, on the books. The fact that it is shows there are system flaws in it. I’d pick out three:
    1. I’m sure that in 1791 all 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights seemed equally matters of fundamental political principle. Most still do, but the 2nd and 3rd very clearly address issues that historical developments have made obsolete: national armies are no longer organized on the basis of local militias, and the billeting of soldiers on civilians was a local, temporary grievance during the war of independence — matters to be addressed by laws, certainly, but not by constitutional principles.
    2. The balance of powers is wrong, not between the different branches of government, but between its different levels. Basically the feds are too weak and the states too strong — unsurprising when the federal government could only come into existence by the pre-existing states agreeing to give up some of their powers. Naturally they did so grudgingly, and as minimally as possible. The nub of this problem is the 10th amendment, which guarantees that as new issues arise requiring legislation, the power of states will increase with no set bounds, while that of the federal government can increase only by constitutional amendment, i.e. effectively never. Like the 2nd law of thermodynamics, the 10th amendment ensures that the situation can only ever get worse, not better.
    3. The proportions required to amend the constitution seemed reasonable with just 13 states, with 50 they are unworkable, and in periods of extreme partisanship such as now imposssible. No amendment of real political principle has been passed since prohibition was repealed — all the amendments since then have just been tinkering with procedure.

    Barring some kind of multigenerational sea-change in outlook by Americans that involves willingness to slaughter a large number of sacred cows, I don’t see this changing at any foreseeable time.

    • Randy Schenck
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      It’s amazing how much foreigners know about this country when so many here seem to know so little. Also, the second amendment is an excellent example of just how bad things have become in these 50 states. It shows the absolute power of money and lobby and how little control every congressmen has of his own vote. It shows how a few judges can wreck whole trains very quickly. It shows how reason and simple common sense has been pitched out the window.

      James Madison was generally a pretty smart fellow but he did change his mind quite often. When the subject of a bill of rights came up in Philadelphia he said negative, don’t need it, forget about it. And that is what happened until a year later as ratification was moving along and all the states were crying for amendments. So to push ratification it was agreed they would cook up a few when the first congress met.

      Madison also left Philadelphia believing he had failed to get a Constitution that was any good. Later he changed his mind but he was kind of right the first time. He fought for two things he was sure were needed and that was equal representation in both house and senate and federal sovereignty. He lost on both. This is why we have 50 states making much of their own laws and why democratic representation regarding the senate is a joke.

      All of these problems could be fixed with a few carefully crafted amendment but as you clearly stated…2/3rd of 13 is not so bad but 2/3rd of 50 is almost impossible. So we can’t fix a 230 year old document that is in bad need of correction because the way to fix has also become nearly impossible.

    • ploubere
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Very good summation, depressingly so.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Indeed, it has struck me that the reverence for the Constitution (and Amendments) is almost bizarre. Contemplating the contortions and hoops the court had to jump through to make its findings apparently compatible with the sacred text, while people debate the significance of a comma. It’s a bit like watching theologians debate the Ten Commandments.

      I don’t think there is any statement in a living language that can be concise, unambiguous, and permanently valid even while the language and social values change. That means it will always be open to, and require, interpretation, and as soon as that happens, people can skew it to suit their own purposes.


      • Posted June 13, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        The US Constitution is taken the same way (and often by the same sorts of people) as people take the Bible, as a document that really isn’t subject to revision and eternally means what it seems to them to say. Now, there’s a lot more to admire in the Constitution than the Bible, but that’s still a dangerous attitude to take to *anything*.

  11. keith cook + / -
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Clever and good news.
    As the lead (debatable) in all things in the free and democratic world it has been a stain on the US. It is not a good look for the free world. What does it stand for when it’s people kill innocents and then brag about we have the right to defend oneself and never mind the mindless killing.
    F**k that! being free by choice is not so important, just give me a gun and I’ll show you who is free… in this civilised country saturated with killing devices.
    If this ruling holds after the NRA has a go at it, possibly even helping it by raising it’s profile and exposing US citizens as to the value of such a decision and it’s effects…or, possibly,probably not but I can see this as an infinitesimal shift that could at last see (sometime in the future) a seachange in American gun culture.
    Because at the moment, seemingly hard changes are no where to be seen.
    Ok there are states that are more gun shy than others but it is critical mass the ‘shy’ people should be aiming for.
    The thing is is to get it bedded in as a norm and shoving it in the NRA face, discussing the implication of this decision in the wider public arena and in schools. Give it some momentum by every possible means e.g. stats on accidental deaths, suicides, costs, etc.
    As an outsider, the 2nd amendment is seen as the backbone to the NRA stand to the ‘rights to bear arms’ and needs to be fully slated as a NRA manipulation of the laws of the land, unknowingly (ignorant) or otherwise.
    Pull on the handbrake and reverse the NRA hold on this law.

  12. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t see the problem with un-concealed carrying. You want to carry a gun (and therefore mark yourself as a dangerous paranoid, IMO) then put it on your hip, not in your purse, or wherever else. Big deal. People who see you are carrying a gun are either likely to run screaming (surely a desired outcome), produce their weapon and draw a bead on you (similarly a desired outcome), or treat you with the respect due to a stick of sweaty dynamite in a hail storm (surely a desired outcome).

    • Jeffrey I Chang
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Open Carry is illegal in California.

  13. mordacious1
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    California’s laws on concealed carry are a little weird. If I apply for a permit because I want to protect my life, the life of my spouse or the lives of my children, it will most likely be denied (especially in certain jurisdictions). But if I apply because I want to protect a large amount of cash, some jewels or another valuable commodity, I most certainly will be issued the permit, even in SF. The state’s priorities are messed up.

    This ruling only applies to CA and HI, btw and doesn’t even cover the whole 9th Circuit, the 7 other states are not affected. NJ and NY courts of appeal have similar rulings.

    Unlike other commenters here, I think this will be eventually taken up by SCOTUS. It should be interesting, with the obvious change in direction that the court is going to take, which way SCOTUS will rule. The NRA should push to have Obama’s nominee confirmed immediately.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      This ruling only applies to CA and HI, btw and doesn’t even cover the whole 9th Circuit, the 7 other states are not affected. NJ and NY courts of appeal have similar rulings.

      Huh? The US has multiple Supreme Courts, or one whose ruings only apply to certain parts of the country?
      Is “ruings” is a worthwhile typo for “rulings”? Or should I ruthlessly excise it from my dictionary?

      • Posted June 11, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        This was an Appeals Court ruling, not a Supreme Court ruling, so the decision is a binding precedent only in the 9 states from which this particular Appeals Court draws its cases. For the other 41 states, the ruling can be cited as a persuasive authority, but it is not a binding precedent. The ruling applies to all 9 states (not just CA and HI), but will have no practical effect in those states that, by statute, allow concealed carry. (The court did not ban concealed carry, only ruling that it is a legislative, rather than a Federal constitutional matter, and thus states are free to legislate on it as they choose.) I had read somewhere that 7 of the 9 states had restrictions on concealed carry, but perhaps it really is only CA and HI.


        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 11, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          As Europe tries to go as a an administrative whole from a couple of hundred million to approaching 500 million, our legislative system is getting more and more complex. Headache-inducing.

  14. ploubere
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    The idea that one needs to carry a weapon to be safe in the U.S. is simple paranoia. I’ve lived in every corner of the country and in between, and have never in any of those places felt the need to arm myself. This is a pretty safe country overall. There is very little gun crime against strangers in public places. I have more fear of getting shot by an angry driver or by one of my students than by a criminal.

    But even if armed thugs were rampant, the argument that only criminals will pack heat is tenuous. If it’s illegal to carry one, then criminals themselves will be less likely to do so, since that would be automatic grounds for arrest. And over time it would get harder and more expensive to acquire one. That is how we defuse gun culture.

    • Posted June 11, 2016 at 4:01 am | Permalink

      Yeah, open carry, concealed carry, why are these somehow now the terms of the debate? This may be an important battle, but the comments suggest to me that the war is already lost. There are countries where jack-booted thugs can come into your house and kill you, but the US really isn’t one of them. And even in such circumstances, the claim that owning a gun somehow increases your life expectancy is problematic at best.

      I would also add that we might have fewer problems on this issue if we didn’t collectively treat our constitution like some kind of quasi-religious sacred text, and its drafters like secular saints. Maybe once you’re parsing comma placement it’s time to admit that other factors deserve consideration?

    • Jeffrey I Chang
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      “The idea that one needs to carry a weapon to be safe in the U.S. is simple paranoia. I’ve lived in every corner of the country and in between, and have never in any of those places felt the need to arm myself.”

      Than regular police officers do not need guns do they? After all, why would a regular cop need a gun when an average citizen calling them about a violent incident does not need one?

      • Posted June 12, 2016 at 1:14 am | Permalink

        You know that there are countries where the police are not armed, right? You should look at their outcomes on criteria like number of officers killed in the line of duty.

    • Jeffrey I Chang
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      “But even if armed thugs were rampant, the argument that only criminals will pack heat is tenuous. If it’s illegal to carry one, then criminals themselves will be less likely to do so, since that would be automatic grounds for arrest.”

      So tell me, since a permit is needed how many criminals will go to the police station to register their guns?

      • Jon W
        Posted June 12, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        They don’t need to, the cops usually know who the criminals are (being able to pin specific crimes to them is a different matter). They just need to find a reasonable excuse to search them. If the punishment for being caught with an illegal gun is sufficient even most criminals will avoid carrying, especially if there is also extra punishment for having one while committing a crime.

        • teacupoftheapocalypse
          Posted June 12, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          That sounds more wishful than rational thinking. The vast majority of US mass shootings that make the media (the worst ones), are not perpetrated by ‘known criminals’ (I recall one a couple of years ago that involved biker gangs). Rather, they are committed by angst-ridden schoolchildren, disgruntled ex-employees and even cops.

          And are you sure that stiffer penalties will deter felons from carrying guns in the first place? No chance that it would make them more likely to shoot their way out of trouble?

          Ever harsher penalties for drunk-driving have not eradicated the problem and there is no evidence to suggest that even the death penalty makes murder less likely.

  15. george
    Posted June 13, 2016 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    The 7 the circuit over ruled same in Illinois. So not really a victory. Alabama file a suit against this ruling as well.

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