Thursday, June 9, 2016

US Appeals court rules no right to concealed carry.

A selection of revolvers. Reuters.

An US appeals court has ruled that there is no right to concealed carry and that state governments can restrict it. Reuters. The 9th circuit court of appeals, based out of San Francisco, ruled in a case challenging California's draconian "may issue" gun laws. In two counties, Californian residents had to show "good cause" in order to be issued a permit. These permits were often not issued under any circumstances. Other rulings, in Maryland, New York and New Jersey also came to the same conclusion. The Supreme Court is unlikely to hear challenges to this case. In 2013 they declined to rule of the right to carry arms was part of the second amendment. This ruling overturned a previous lower court ruling that said that Californian citizens had a right to conceal and carry firearms. 

My Comment:
A garbage ruling from the 9th circuit court. The right to keep and bear arms is absolute and there is no reason why anyone who is legally entitled to own a gun shouldn't also be able to carry that weapon for self defense. The ruling obviously goes against what the founding fathers meant when they crafted the 2nd amendment.

The ruling also goes against the trend favoring the 2nd amendment and concealed carry. In the past few years every state in the union has gotten laws requiring that there at least be an option for concealed carry. In most of those cases the new laws are "shall issue" where the state has to have a compelling reason not to issue a permit. Some states require no permits at all, anyone who can own a gun legally can carry it, no questions asked. 

Only a few states still use the outdated and wrong "may issue" concealed carry laws. All of those states are either on the East Coast or are California. These states are clearly in the minority and the trend is for loosening the gun laws, not tightening them up. These states also vary in how they issue the permits. It often depends on the local level, with some counties issuing permits without many problems and others essentially having a de-facto ban on carrying concealed firearms. 

It a perfect world the Supreme Court would quickly address this issue and rule in favor of gun rights. But that seems unlikely to happen. The Supreme Court has already refused to address the issue back in 2013. Had they done so this situation would be irrelevant because they would have likely ruled in favor of gun rights. But they failed to do so, and if they did now it would probably end in a tie due to the death of Antonin Scalia. 

They are unlikely to hear the case anyways. The Supreme Court rarely hears cases that are similar to ones they have already declined to hear. And when they do it is because two or more appeals courts have issued counteraction rulings. That hasn't happen when it comes to restrictions to concealed carry, and it isn't likely to change.

Why? Because there aren't likely to be anymore concealed carry rulings. The places where it could be challenged would face the same judges that have ruled in favor of restrictions. I think there are federal judges that would rule the other way, but they are all in districts where concealed carry is already legal. That means that there aren't really any way to redress this issue through the courts. 

For now, this ruling is unlikely to change. Until the composition of the Supreme Court changes there is no point in even trying. But that may happen soon depending on the outcome of the Presidential election and who wins Congress as well. A major swing either way could either protect the 2nd amendment or destroy it completely. 

So who do you vote for? Well obviously not Hillary Clinton. She has run on a gun control platform and she has even gone so far as saying that people should be able to sue gun manufacturers. Such a ruling would essentially destroy gun manufacturing in the United States and put every gun company out of business. She has also declined to say that the 2nd amendment is a right. Clearly a Clinton presidency would at least greatly damage our gun rights, if not destroy them entirely. Considering that the 2nd amendment is a right that people are willing to go to war for, this would probably also be the end of America as the country would descend into chaos. Bernie Sanders is little better but his chances of being the candidate are small enough to be irrelevant. 

In a normal year the Libertarian Party would be a decent choice to protect gun rights as it is a major platform of the party. However, this year is not one of those years. Inexplicably they have chosen William Weld to be Gary Johnson as their VP candidate. Weld was the Governor of Massachusetts and while he served in that post he supported the draconian and immoral gun laws of that state. In short, he's no Libertarian and he is a very poor choice for VP. And of course, the Libertarian Party has almost zero chance of success so voting for them is essentially voting for Hillary Clinton anyways.

That leaves Donald Trump for candidates that support the 2nd amendment and have a chance of winning. The Libertarian Party isn't either at this point. Though Trump has supported some gun control in the past he has made efforts to beef up his bona fides when it comes to gun rights. His list of Supreme Court nominees was fairly popular and he has been endorsed by the NRA. And he also managed to get a concealed carry permit in New York City, something you can't get unless you are really determined. Trump might not be a perfect candidate when it comes to the 2nd amendment but he's the best one we have.

Regardless, nothing is going to change in gun rights until after the election. Right now the people of California have no option at all. I am hoping that someday that changes and all states have concealed carry. Because they really do help. Guns save lives. 

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