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February 13, 2014


Not the "what", but the "who". (No, smartasses, not The Who. sheesh)

Ninth Circuit: The Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a gun in public

The particular statute at issue here was San Diego’s law banning concealed carry. The only way to get a permit there is to show a “unique risk of harm.” Wanting to carry a gun for self-defense without showing a special need isn’t good enough. The Supreme Court’s Heller ruling six years ago already guaranteed the right to possess a gun at home, so the question today was whether limiting carry to one’s own household is a permissible state regulation of the right to bear arms or an impermissible outright prohibition.
Given the text of the Amendment, says the Ninth Circuit, the answer is obvious:

The Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arms but also to “bear” them—the verb whose original meaning is key in this case. Saving us the trouble of pulling the eighteenth-century dictionaries ourselves, the Court already has supplied the word’s plain meaning: “At the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584.3 Yet, not “carry” in the ordinary sense of “convey[ing] or transport[ing]” an object, as one might carry groceries to the check-out counter or garments to the laundromat, but “carry for a particular purpose—confrontation.” Id. The “natural meaning of ‘bear arms,’” according to the Heller majority, was best articulated by Justice Ginsburg in her dissenting opinion in Muscarello v. United States, 524 U.S. 125 (1998): to “‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584 (quoting Muscarello, 524 U.S. at
143 (Ginsburg, J., dissenting) (quoting Black’s Law Dictionary 214 (6th ed. 1998)); see also id. at 592 (concluding that the Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to . . . carry weapons in case of confrontation”).

Speakers of the English language will all agree: “bearing a weapon inside the home” does not exhaust this definition of “carry.” For one thing, the very risk occasioning such carriage, “confrontation,” is “not limited to the home.” Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933, 936 (7th Cir. 2012). One needn’t point to statistics to recognize that the prospect of conflict—at least, the sort of conflict for which one would wish to be “armed and ready”—is just as menacing (and likely more so) beyond the front porch as it is in the living room. For that reason, “[t]o speak of bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage.” Id. To be sure, the idea of carrying a gun “in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready,” does not exactly conjure up images of father stuffing a six-shooter in his pajama’s pocket before heading downstairs to start the morning’s coffee, or mother concealing a handgun in her coat before stepping outside to retrieve the mail. Instead, it brings to mind scenes such as a woman toting a small handgun in her purse as she walks through a dangerous neighborhood, or a night-shift worker carrying a handgun in his coat as he travels
to and from his job site.

Granted, this was the 3 judge appellate panel, and the full 9th can (and may very well) choose to revisit this should this opinion produce more media-generated nukular wedgies than they care for. This opinion steps through the door opened by Heller and MacDonald and affirms the entire 2nd Amendment - not just bits and pieces here and there dictated by personal ideology. This is headed for the Supremes, however, I seriously doubt it will end there. Until then, score one for the 2A from a most unlikely source.

Tip O'the Stetson

Posted by DL Sly at February 13, 2014 06:29 PM

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I think the amazing thing here is that this came out of the CALI Appellate court...

WTF are they putting in the water coolers there?

Sounds like they need more of in in the state water supply all around... and slip some of it into all the bottled water there, too, while they're at it.

It's regrowing testicles!!

Posted by: OBloodyHell, I'll Wait... at February 13, 2014 09:24 PM

I enjoy my right to both bare arms (and other things) and bear arms. Needless to say, I bear openly, as concealing can be a bit uncomfortable. I applaud the ruling and blush in surprise at the source.

Posted by: Man Riding Unicycle Naked at February 13, 2014 10:41 PM

Nice to *kind of* see you.

Perhaps you'd like to participate in this week's caption contest, as well...

Posted by: DL Sly at February 13, 2014 10:48 PM