9th Circuit Ruling Crushes Gun-Grabbers, California Must Allow Open Carry


Just when you thought the 9th Circuit Court was officially insane, they go and do something that makes you think the justices there might have actually read the Constitution once or twice.

In a Tuesday ruling, America’s proud judicial home of leftism ruled that a Hawaii law that didn’t allow citizens to open carry was unconstitutional.

“The decision only applies to districts under the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction, but it will likely soon affect the rest of the country. It is a huge ruling that strikes down existing state prohibitions in Hawaii and California,” Townhall explained.

The case, Young v. State of Hawaii, was brought by George Young, a man twice denied a permit to carry a handgun by the state. Hawaii’s laws only allow open carry licenses “(i)n an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property.” The state argued that the Second Amendment applies only to firearms kept at home.

However, two out of the three judges ruled that Hawaii’s laws violated the Second Amendment, citing District of Columbia v. Heller — a 2008 case that reaffirmed the Second Amendment’s protections for individual firearm ownership by striking down a gun ban in the nation’s capital — in their judgment. That case affirmed that “(a)t the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.'”

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“We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority, adding that “(w)e see nothing in our opinion that would prevent the State from regulating the right to bear arms.”

“But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense,” the ruling continued.

“While many respectable scholars and activists might find virtue in a firearms-carry regime that restricts the right to a privileged few, ‘the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,'” O’Scannlain wrote, quoting Heller.

The dissent, meanwhile, found that “Hawaii has met its burden by citing to significant empirical evidence” that prohibiting open carry would reduce gun violence “and by explaining the logical inferences behind its policy choices.”

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“That limiting public carry of firearms may have a positive effect on public safety is hardly an illogical proposition,” the dissent reads, arguing that the court should defer to the legislature on such matters. “Many other states appear to have reached similar conclusions, and so have most other nations.”

However, the majority opinion stated that the dissent’s conclusion that the legislature ought to be given deference was evidence of its flaws.

“No statement could more clearly indicate where the dissent goes wrong: we are certainly not evaluating a mere ‘policy judgment’ but rather determining the scope and application of a constitutional right. At bottom, the dissent would have us fundamentally reject Heller and construe the Second Amendment as nothing more than an illusory promise,” O’Scannlain wrote.

“While the dissent might think Heller was wrongly decided, it is far beyond our power to overrule it.”

The decision makes open carry a possibility for residents of the states under the 9th Circuit’s aegis — Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

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Kaena Horowitz, deputy corporation counsel for Hawaii County and the lawyer who argued the case, said that he’s looking at possibilities for appealing the case, according to The Hill.

“The Young decision is unfortunate as it invalidates Hawaii law designed to protect the safety and well-being of the people of Hawaii,” Horowitz said. “Carrying firearms in public clearly poses a significant danger to the safety of our community and greatly increases the risk that police officers confront.”

However, it’s worth noting that the Supreme Court has been skittish about hearing any cases involving local gun laws in recent years — something which drew a strong rebuke from Justice Clarence Thomas last year when the full court refused to hear a case about a man denied a carry permit under California law.

“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous,” Thomas wrote after the court refused to pick up that case.

“But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture