Gun advocates need to tread carefully, despite Young v. Hawaii victory
by Tyler Yzaguirre, Washington Examiner, August 1, 2018
Last week, Second Amendment advocates received a stunning victory from the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in Young v. Hawaii that the Second Amendment protects the right to open carry firearms for self-defense. The decision went a step further for gun rights, explaining that citizens may carry a loaded handgun openly or concealed for self-defense.
In regards to the Young victory, Dick Heller from the magnificent District of Columbia v. Heller decision of 2008 said, “There is no doubt that this is a major Second Amendment victory. The floodgates have been opened for more open carry challenges to come before the judicial system.”
But tread carefully.
The Supreme Court is the final law of the land, meaning that only the Supreme Court can hand down a ruling that affects all 50 states. Some people may take this ruling from the 9th Circuit and assume it automatically enables residents from every state to open carry a handgun, which would be a bad assumption with harsh consequences. This victory does not give you a pass to open carry in states that prohibit it. According to the Giffords Law Center, states with a complete blanket ban on open carry of a handgun include California, Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. You should, of course, always check with your states' attorney general before open carrying a firearm. For updated information, Gunstocarry.com provides a very detailed list.
The ruling from the three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit will most certainly be overturned by the full 9th Circuit, which in legal terminology is known as en banc (the full court). There are too many far-left judges on the 9th Circuit for this Second Amendment victory to stand. This may seem like a loss, but in the grand scheme of things, it could turn into a major victory at the Supreme Court.
If the en banc 9th Circuit overturns Young, then Alan Beck, the attorney who won Young’s case, will almost certainly petition to the Supreme Court. Assuming that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by that point, the case will likely meet the "rule of four," which means that four justices must agree to hear a case for it to be brought before the Supreme Court.
When asked about his position on the Supreme Court, Beck responded, “I am very happy that the 9th Circuit vindicated my clients’ Second Amendment rights and we are prepared to litigate this to the Supreme Court if need be.”
The process of challenging the 9th Circuit's three-judge panel is long and tedious. If the Supreme Court decides to take the case, should the full 9th Circuit Panel overturn the decision, open carry of a handgun for self-defense would become legal in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C. This Second Amendment victory would make the Left go crazy, and what would really sweeten a victory from the Supreme Court is that they can’t challenge it — and no liberal judge can activate an injunction against the ruling.
Tyler Yzaguirre (@realtyleryz) is the founder and president of the Second Amendment Institute.