Handgun open carry law unconstitutional?
January 4, 2012
A California resident filed a lawsuit arguing that a law prohibiting the open carrying of an unloaded handgun is unconstitutional. [CaliforniaWatch]
Charles Nichols filed the lawsuit in federal court against the state seeking to overturn restrictions on where he can display a loaded or unloaded handgun.
Earlier this week, AB 144 went into effect. It expands California’s firearm regulations that previously prohibited publicly carrying a loaded handgun to also make it illegal to openly carry an unloaded handgun.
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down strict gun regulations in Washington, D.C. because they were unconstitutional. Nichols argues in his lawsuit that California’s carry laws should meet with a similar fate.
“By banning fully functional, loaded handguns from being openly carried for the purpose of self-defense, (California’s statute) is a more restrictive ban than the law struck down in (Washington) as unconstitutional,” the lawsuit says.
Proponents of the law contend it allows for gun owners to hunt and protect their homes and that it is not necessary to carry a weapon when shopping or eating out.