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.


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scapegoat

I agree with most of these comments. With proper training and a clean criminal record and Phycological evaluation, we should be allowed to carry. The people who addimitly oppose this have mostly lived very sheltered lives.


eradicate ignorance

I have lived and worked in both the sticks and inner city LA and I have never been in a situation where I thought “Boy I should wish I had a gun with me.” The only time I ever thought that was during my time in the service. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I just don’t get it. Does everyone really feel that threatened that they need to carry a gun?


Typoqueen

[whispering] It’s right wing paranoia. Can you imagine living like that?


unclebeerman

“Does everyone really feel that threatened that they need to carry a gun?”

I really don’t stay awake @ night worrying about my house catching fire either, but I have sprinklers in my house & a couple fire extinguishers. It’s called being prepared & refusing to be a victim.


Typoqueen

I’m not trying to be combative (to you), I just have a comment and some questions. Many of us aren’t against you having guns, personally I don’t’ care how many guns you want to own, not all libs are the same on that but many of us feel the same way. Personally I just want to make sure that you aren’t a nut job, ie no felonies, mentally sound and that you have a cooling off period when you purchase the gun. Many of us don’t believe that carrying a loaded gun through the market is a good idea and it’s not necessary, it’s trouble waiting to happen. When people start carrying loaded guns in public places then that is putting me and my family at risk. Chances are higher that if you use your firearm for self defence that you or another innocent victim will be injured before a bad guy gets injured. In other words, of course there are exceptions but statistically you have a better chance of being a victim. If you want guns and you want to take that chance then fine but your neighbor might be able to sleep better knowing that you are mentally stable. Just as we don’t want to give a blind man a drivers license we need to make sure that firearms go out to the right people. Without a constitutional interpretation/lecture why is what I’m saying so bad? Why do so many on the right and perhaps you feel that is unfair to gun owners?


eradicate ignorance

That is your house, but do you take a hose and an extinguisher with you to the grocery store? No, you leave that to the professional fire fighters.


unclebeerman

You missed the point. I Don’t fear having my house burn down but have things in place to save it in case it catches fire. It’s the same with personal protection. I don’t fear being attacked but people should have the ability to defend themselves if the need arises. Your point of leaving my personal protection to the professionals is weak as well. Law enforcement acts as a deterent to supress crime before it happens & investigates after a crime occurs. If you expect a cop to show up when your getting attacked, well, good luck with that.


Jesus Child

The police can no longer protect us. Bad people carry guns. Citizens should be allowed to carry loaded hand guns openly. Law Enforcement and bad people will know they are armed. Everywhere this is allowed, violent crime goes down.


Typoqueen

It’s truly amazing that you people see nothing weird about statements like this.


SpeakTruth

“Us People” see nothing weird about the truth. Living without our heads in the sand is amazing. Try it sometime. Utube link


Typoqueen

LOL, lets see what Sean insHannity, Rush and Glen Beck have to say as well.


You are funny, talk about heads in the sand,,very funny. Believing anything by Stossel is like taking a Rasmussen pole serious, it’s just stupid.


BeenThereDoneThat

Actually Stossel was part of the Liberal media till the early eighties. Then he saw what they were doing and all the lies and changed to conservative. (I’m talking media here not other politics) That might tell you something? But I know you don’t want to read or expand your horizon’s.


Typoqueen

I’ve watched 20 20 from day one. As a matter of fact I’m watching Mr. Obama being interviewed by Barbara Walters as I type, nice interview BTW. Stossel is what he is, he is extremely biased and if you don’t see that then hey I guess Rush might marry Jane Fonda one day.


BeenThereDoneThat

Typo anyone that doesn’t hold your world view is biased. What else is new.


Typoqueen

Okay, you win, I give up. Stossel and Faux (his boss) isn’t biased. I wouldn’t want you to think outside of your little box.


south

Although I rarely comment, but get a kick at the back and forth on this site, Typoqueen, I have to agree with your detractors. You have a singular world view and seem to consider everyone else either misguided or ridiculous. You also seem to be of the belief that if one doesn’t agree with you he or she must be a mindless follower of some media guru. In my experience such a person is the one who needs more education.


Typoqueen

” You also seem to be of the belief that if one doesn’t agree with you he or she must be a mindless follower of some media guru.”


Well, you are entitled to believe what you want. But there is a certain segment of the population that on certain topics such as gun control have mindless answers and they are usually the ones that listen and follow some media gurus, so yeah you’re right, that’s how I and many many others feel. On CCN there are is a certain demographic and I don’t fit that demographic. The demographic that for the most part posts here have no logical answers about why they should be able to carry guns other than it’s their interpretation of the constitution (which is a very old document and like an old home it could stand to be updated BTW). But when it comes to logic there isn’t one good reason to carry a loaded gun to the market. Statistic blow their arguments away but you guys don’t need no stinkin statistics so forget that, so how about commensense. How does it make sense to not register a gun? Really, how does it hurt you? Tell me why gun control hurts you personally to do that? Please don’t use those same stale two responses. There is basicly two arguments by those on the right: 1) amendment rights and 2) fear of the govt. If you are afraid of the govt. then go through the permitting process and own 100 guns, I don’t care. Are you so afraid/paranoid of the govt. that you are afraid to get licensed? Why logically do you need to be standing next to my small child in the market with a gun hanging out of your pocket? What if you are some dumb @ss like the cop that left is guns in his car that doesn’t know how to handle a pistol or a meth head and you drop your loaded pistol on the floor at the check stand next to my small child? Do we have human rights to feel safe against someone like that? Is it fair to subject my children to (for example) a strung out goof with a loaded gun LEAGALLY. Where is the logical argument against that? So yeah, after awhile I get snarky. As a matter of fact, I might respond to a few more of these but it’s starting to take too much time out of my day and it’s like trying to get well thought out answers from a table. So after this post I might be done with this topic.


danika

“the constitution (which is a very old document and like an old home it could stand to be updated BTW”


TQ, that very old document that could stand to be updated is the foundation of the very country you live in and one that gives you the freedom to put your thoughts to print for all to see. It also provides you those “human rights”. The preservation of that very old document is critical to this country’s survival. If you find disfavor with our old Constitution, please move to Cuba or some other such country so you can appreciate what many of us are fighting to preserve…that very old document!


bobfromsanluis

The situation that is most revealing is how “unreasonable” gun rights advocates appear to be; by that I mean having or giving “reason” to the discussion or the issue. It seems most of you want the 2nd Amendment to trump everything in law about how firearms are registered, sold, transferred, licensed or regulated, without any “reason” at all. I do know what the 2nd Amendment says, I am aware of how it gets interpreted by most, but, again, you pursue the ability of owning and carrying a firearm without regard to being “reasonable”. Is it “reasonable” that felons should be excluded from legally carrying a firearm? Is it reasonable that firearms should be registered? Is it reasonable that fully automatic weapons should be banned from private ownership? Is it reasonable that there is a “waiting period” when buying a firearm in a legal manner? As I have stated, it is, IMO, “reasonable” that there are certain laws regarding firearms, that there are limits placed by law enforcement on concealed carry permits, and that the CCP could be broadened to allow more to carry, IF they were required to fulfill the same requirements of law enforcement officers, both in training and number of hours in practice each year. Are LEOs always the best shots? No, especially “in the heat of the moment” when in a gun battle where they are trying to keep themselves alive; I would expect that most people in that same situation may not be the best marksman as well. My main point is to the gun rights advocates is that you appear to not want to compromise in any manner, for any consideration, at any time; is that being “reasonable”?


Robert1

Why should I have to compromise ?

Its a right guaranteed to me,period.

What other rights shell you or other special interest ask of me next?

When will you be happy?

When I have given up all my rights?

Or just the ones you want ?

Enough is enough , the line has been drawn.


Typoqueen

Yes, we libs won’t be happy until we take all your rights away. Now don’t you have a militia to form and a bunker to build?


Geez


danika

Whatever is going on in your life right now, TQ, I hope it gets better for you. I really do.


Typoqueen

LOL, okay.


bobfromsanluis

“Why should I have to compromise? Its a right guaranteed to me, period.”


As I said, most gun rights advocates are “unreasonable”, meaning, you do not want to “reason” with anyone in the discussion about the 2nd Amendment. Do you really want to be able to carry around a fully automatic 50 caliber machine gun? Do you have an inherent “right” to possess a shoulder mounted missile launcher? Should you be able to own a nuclear weapon? You are exactly the person I am talking about when I say gun rights advocates are “unreasonable”; you aren’t concerned about how your “right” may infringe on other persons “rights”, YOU just want to make sure that the one, single right you have focused on with all your might is not questioned in any way, shape or form. Again, is it “reasonable” that a convicted felon is not legally allowed to possess a firearm? Is it reasonable that all firearms are required to be registered? You seemingly do not want to address a discussion about being reasonable about parts of the issue, you simply dismiss any discussion as an attempt to limit “your” right. Unreasonable, period.


choprzrul

Ummm….what do you think the founders had in mind when they penned the document? The biggest, baddest weapon in the 1700’s had to be the battleship. Where do you suppose the Patriots got their own battleships???


You don’t suppose that they came from private individuals that had ships with cannons on them do you? Where did the Continental Army get their cannons from in the early days of the war? Wealthy land owners.


Can you tell me how my owning something like a rocket launcher might intrude one someone else’s civil rights?


Typoqueen

Being ‘reasonable’ seems so basic but it’s as if they are indoctrinated, it’s like a serious from the Twilight Zone. After awhile I start to get snarky. Don’t you feel like you’re talking to yourself on topics like this, don’t you just picture that blank look on thier faces like robots? You have more patients than I do. As usual your post is well put and reasonable.


Sorry, I don’t mean to be so blunt but it’s just beyond weird to me. I need to stop posting on this before I get rude. I’m not rude yet and I don’t want to be, I’m just calling it as I see it.


The Gimlet Eye

You should not have to compromise. The only reason that you do have to is because you are living in a POLICE STATE.


GD the POLICE STATE.


Typoqueen

That’s tea bag way,, wow. That statement is pretty warped.


The Gimlet Eye

The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. “Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?” He promptly replied, “No Ma’am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my shotgun.”


Typoqueen

Oh Geez, the gun nuts are going to comment to this article in droves. I’m not going to get into a back and forth battle with the gun nuts, their arguments for carrying loaded guns are simply crazy.


Karen, you sure know how to stir the pot.


The Gimlet Eye

Why should the criminals have guns and the people not?


Cindy

I’m going to donate. It is our right to carry a firearm for protection. Why do you think the LEO always carry even when they’re off duty? It’s for protection because they don’t want to find themselves helpless in a criminal situation that challenges their freedoms. I believe we would be a safer society if we were armed. Criminals would think twice before walking into banks, restaurants etc and taking everyone hostage or sticking a gun in peoples faces and demanding their valuables. There is no reason why criminals should have weapons and the rest of us should be defenseless against them. That is just plain BS and we shouldn’t stand for it. I challenge anyone who respects and cherishes their rights to stand up and DONATE to this cause.


Cindy

P.S. I don’t want to personally carry myself but I would feel much better knowing that plenty of good guy’s have guns too and not just the criminals. There will always be more good guy’s around with a gun than bad guy’s if we demand that the law honors out rights to carry.


SpeakTruth

How can anybody disagree with this statement? Answer me two things:

1. How will allowing law-abiding citizens to carry their lawfully acquired firearms in public be detrimental to society?

2. Since current gun control hasn’t made us safer, what do you propose doing differently?


bobfromsanluis

“Why do you think the LEO always carry even when they’re off duty?” More likely, they don’t feel the “need” for their own protection, but having the weapon on them while off duty gives them the option of intervening in a situation that they may happen upon while off duty; it is their sense of being ready to “serve and protect” even while off duty. I have no problem with off duty officers carrying their weapons upon them in a concealed manner; they have the training, they understand the law, they understand the gravity of having use that weapon in a manner that can result in the death of someone; many who also wish to conceal carry understand most of these issues as well, but not all who want to carry do, and that is my biggest argument against concealed carry for the general public. If everyone who wants to carry had to undergo the same amount of training and continued practice as law enforcement officers, to be “rated” by a professional who is not related to the person in question, my opinion is that most of them should be allowed to carry, after those with criminal backgrounds and mental issues are vetted out of the consideration. Of course, those that do will have to ever vigilant about breaking the laws governing carrying in a court of law and in an airport, and when traveling to states that do not have the same laws.


mkaney

It shocks me that you can say this with such confidence right after the shooting in Santa Maria where the police shot each other.


Cindy

Opppppppps!


mkaney, I kind of agree with bob. Not just anybody should be allowed to carry. I absolutely believe that it should require special training to carry in public concealed or open when loaded (the gun that is). Likewise mental competency is a must to consider. But you did make your point about the LEO’s that panicked and shot each other. I guess that is bound to happen occasionally in a dire situation. Regardless, people of course would have to qualify for the license in the area of safety training, mental stability and a background check.


SpeakTruth

Cindy, I don’t recall where in the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution that it requires you to obtain special training to bear arms. If you can find it, please post it here! Perhaps you’d like special training before being allowed to vote, or before choosing a religion? Seriously though; Gun control laws only affect those who are law-abiding. This law, or any gun control law isn’t going to prevent a criminal from carrying a gun. Criminals don’t respect the law! What do they respect? A gun being pointed back at them. That’s why cops carry guns, on duty or off duty. That’s why we should carry guns, to deter crime. Even if a citizen isn’t carrying, the fact that they might be is enough to deter a criminal.


Typoqueen

“…stitution that it requires you to obtain special training to bear arms.”


Tell that to Harry Whittington.


Side_Show_Bob

Once again, typo, you reference the hunting accident involving our past VP Dick Cheney. What does this have to do with the subject at hand?


As I see it, absolutely nothing, so what’s your point?


Typoqueen

One person said that people shouldn’t be required to have special training to carry firearms. James Brady and H. Wittington might not have been shot if the people that shot them were required to go through background checks and had been through gun safety classes.


Charles Nichols

James Brady was shot by someone licensed and trained in the use of a firearm. Do try and keep up.


Cindy

Well you’re correct, it isn’t in the constitution but we have to use some common sense here. We are all free to travel the roads and the constitution doesn’t say we need a license to do so. Would you have every body and his brother on the road doing 60 when they don’t know the rules of the road? There is a lot at stake out there and a lot of cars on the road. We can’t allow people walking around with a gun who don’t know how to tie their shoes let alone how to handle a fire arm can we? Have you ever had someone show you their gun and point it at you in the process or carry it with their hand on the trigger? I’ve seen it ! Do we want mentality ill people carrying a deadly weapon? People don’t all live a mile apart anymore. We have to be reasonable, a loaded gun in the hands of an idiot or hothead does not make us safer.


JMK

Driving a car is a privilege, owning and carrying a firearm is a right, and there is a distinct difference. There are already laws banning mentally disabled, criminals and the like from owning firearms. It isn’t the people who carry legally that cause the crime; the ones who cause the crime buy the guns illegally and do not possess the right to carry a handgun. They don’t abide by the law anyway so making new ones doesn’t affect them. I have carried concealed for many years without incident. My permits allow me to carry concealed in almost all of the 48 states. My right to defend my family and myself does not end at someone’s imaginary line and it never will. If you truly think taking firearms away from a law-abiding citizen makes things safer you are a fool. All it does is makes a criminal’s life easier.


Cindy

Driving a car is not a privilege. It is an absolute right and has been confirmed by the Supreme Court. The State made up the idea that driving is a privilege and even has you sign that you’re giving up your right in lieu of the privilege of obtaining/trading it for a drivers license. Read the fine print that you sign at the DMV . Google it….


eradicate ignorance

It doesn’t say anything about age restrictions in the Constitution. Should we allow a 10 year old to carry a firearm? According you, it is his/her right. Unless of course, you agree to allowing some reasonable interpretation.


oto

Oh, please…IF a cop carries a gun when s/he’s off-duty, I would doubt it’s because they are intending to intervene with lethal force in a theoretical future incident. If they weren’t paranoid to begin with, the nature of their job environment has made them so. Whether the paranoia is justified depends upon their individual histories and fact circumstances.


One thing that seems to be real, as opposed to just a theory, is the cause and effect of gun ownership itself. Those who own guns are more likely to use guns against people.


Where injury occurs as a result of gunshot, the use of the gun is either justified, or it’s not. I’ll bet “justification” is secondary to the fact of ownership.


That is to say, I bet more people are shot by accident than intentionally shot–in this country, at least.


On the other hand, I have observed that where a country forbids citizens to own firearms, (as in Mexico, for instance,) the government itself is more lawless.


Typoqueen

“Those who own guns are more likely to use guns against people”.


Well yea, it’s harder for someone that doesn’t own a gun to use is gun that he doesn’t have.


“On the other hand, I have observed that where a country forbids citizens to own firearms, (as in Mexico, for instance,) the government itself is more lawless”


Well that’s simply not true. In middle eastern countries they have guns like I have shoes, they have tons of them, they don’t forbid their citizens from carrying around guns and they aren’t very civil. On the other hand Japan has very strict gun control, not like here, they don’t have guns period. I haven’t checked for quite awhile so maybe there have one or two more but the last time I looked there wasn’t one death or injury by gun in the city of Tokyo in the year that I checked. I wouldn’t call their govt. lawless.


BeenThereDoneThat

More to it than your typical simplistic reply. Middle Eastern countries are also a lot poorer (which leads to unstability) than Japan. They also are ruled a lot different than Japan. Apples and oranges.


Typoqueen

Giselle said this: “On the other hand, I have observed that where a country forbids citizens to own firearms, (as in Mexico, for instance,) the government itself is more lawless”


I believe Mexico is a fairly poor country as well. I pointed out that this comment isn’t true. You can twist it all you want. If Japan allowed people to own guns there would be a high suicide, accidental injuries/deaths and higher murder rate, they don’t allow guns so their murder, suicide and accidental injury/death rates are lower. So you see no correlation that industrialized/civilized countries that don’t have legal firearms or have strict gun control have less crime and far less firearm deaths? Hmm, you want use countries like Mexico for no firearm restrictions and I want to use Japan as a country that does have strict gun control. Maybe you can come up with a country that you could use as a model besides Mexico. I’d like to see how you want our country to be in this regard. Please show me which country with no gun laws you could use as a model that works for.


BeenThereDoneThat

You missed my point ENTIRELY!!! It is a proven FACT that poverity in countries leads to instability. Siera Leone, Rowanda, Somalia, Zimbabwaee etc. Should I go on? It is a lot easier to have and maintain gun laws when you have posperity and civility and respect for law like Japan, then what you have in these other countries. THAT WAS MY POINT! Now go back and live in your fantasy land where you don’t like to hear points of truth from anyone outside you sphere of reality.


The Gimlet Eye

Gun control is based on the theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.


Charles Nichols

Technically, my lawsuit seeks to overturn the 1967 ban on openly carrying a loaded firearm in public. An injunction against the Loaded Open Carry ban makes the new ban on Unloaded Open Carry irrelevant. http://CaliforniaRightToCarry.org


mkaney

Would I be mistaken in believing that the 1967 law was largely inspired by black protest groups like the Panthers carrying loaded firearms at rallies?


Robert1

Is the NRA helping you? I am a member and hope so.


Typoqueen

LOL!!


Charles Nichols

The leadership of the NRA opposes Open Carry. There were bills last year to repeal the slave/black codes in four of the five former slave states which still ban Open Carry.


The NRA killed all of the bills.


Harlon Carter and Neal Knox are long since dead. The NRA leadership has returned the NRA back to what it was prior to 1977, a supporter of gun control.


I, by the way, am a Benefactor Member of the NRA, it’s highest level of membership.


Typoqueen

“I, by the way, am a Benefactor Member of the NRA, it’s highest level of membership.”


Highest level! Your mother must be proud, I know I’m impressed.


Charles Nichols

What’s that you said? Something about your being a mother…?


Anyhow, enough playtime. I have real work to do. Au revoir!


Typoqueen

Yes, at first I thought that you might have a hearing problem but now I see it’s a reading comprehension issue.


Side_Show_Bob

Thank you Mr. Nichols for keeping up the good fight!


Charles Nichols
Robert1

Just donated !!!!!!


Typoqueen

OMG, the thought of you carrying a loaded gun is frighting. You are the poster boy of why people should not be allowed to carry loaded guns. God help us if you carry a loaded gun.


Typoqueen

Wow, how will I sleep tonight knowing that I received several,,I mean ‘tons’ of thumbs ratings down from a bunch of far right tea bag types. Guess what,,,I don’t care, I will wear those thumbs down as a badge of honor. You say that like it’s important. I maintain that SSB should never ever carry a loaded gun or even own a gun.


Side_Show_Bob

Contending that I should be denied my Constitutional Right is a very serious allegation, Typoqueen.


You know absolutely NOTHING about me. You don’t know who I am, where I live, or one other iota of pertinent information that should constitute such a claim or comment. You garner all of this decisive information about me to make such a claim off of this site?


Once again, you continue to prove your lack of good judgement by letting your hatred and liberal bias stand in the way of clear and concise thought.


You would be astonished at who I am, at my experiences, and with my my training, especially as it applies to firearms and firearms education.


I also served my Country so that YOU may continue to exercise your First Amendment Right as you so loosely do on this site. Never would I publicly call for YOU to not have that right.


Your true colors are really showing.


Typoqueen

Scary.


Typoqueen

Why do you? Don’t read my posts, problem solved.


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