SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF –-(Ammoland.com)- The Ninth Circuit ruled in Young v. The State of Hawaii that ruled that an individual does not have a right to bear arms outside the home.
In 2011, George Young applied for a firearm-carry license, but Hawaii denied his application. The state requires gun owners to show “the urgency or the need” to carry a firearm openly. The applicant must also be of good moral character and be “engaged in the protection of life and property.” Hawaii determined that Young did not meet these requirements.
Young applied to open carry a firearm because he wanted to protect himself and his family. Hawaii is a “may issue” state when it comes to concealed carry, and it is almost impossible for the average citizen to obtain a concealed carry permit. This decision means that the courts have made it virtually impossible to carry a gun for self-defense outside the home, stripping Hawaii’s citizens of the right to bear arms.
In an earlier case (Peruta v. County of San Diego) from 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that an induvial doesn’t have the right to carry a concealed handgun outside the home. If you combine both decisions, the court has stripped citizens living under its jurisdiction of their right to bear arms.
Young challenged Hawai’i’s draconian gun laws by suing the state for violating his Second Amendment rights and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court upheld Hawai’i’s statute. Young then appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court. The Ninth Circuit is also the court hearing blockbuster cases such as Miller v. Becerra and Duncan v. Becerra.
A three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Young, stating that the state could not ban the open carrying of firearms in a two to one decision. The Ninth Circuit court immediately stayed the decision and granted an en banc review. In an en banc review, all the Ninth Circuit Court judges weigh in on the case.
The en banc court affirmed the district court’s dismissal reversing the three-judge panel decision.
The court decided that Hawai’i’s restrictions on open carrying of firearms “reflect longstanding prohibitions.” Because of that, the court also ruled “the conduct they regulate is outside the historical scope of the Second Amendment.” The court went further and claimed the Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee Americans the right to open carry a firearm for self-defense.
The court also rejected Young’s claim that Hawaii violated the Due Process Claus as pre-mature. The court pointed out that that Young could have always appealed the decision regarding his open carry application, but to date has not filed an appeal. They said until Hawaii denies Young an appellate hearing, the state has not violated the Due Process Claus.
Judge O’Scannlain, joined by Judges Callahan, Ikuta, and R. Nelson, dissented from the majority decision. He said that the regulation “destroy the core right to carry a gun for self-defense outside the home and are unconstitutional under any level of scrutiny.” He went even further and said, “the majority’s decision undermines not only the Constitution’s text, but also half a millennium of Anglo-American legal history, the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), and the foundational principles of American popular sovereignty itself.”
Judge Nelson was also upset with the decision. He claims the majority “erred not only in holding the statute facially constitutional, but also in rejecting Young’s as-applied challenge.” Then went on to rebuke the majority again and stated: “that there should be no dispute that any law or regulation that restricts gun ownership only to security guards violates the Second Amendment.”
Gun Owners of America called the decision by the court “hypocritical.” Senior Vice President Erich Pratt highlighted that the judges are protected by guns but are denying that right to average American citizens.
“The judges on the Ninth Circuit court are acting in a truly hypocritical fashion,” Pratt told AmmoLand. “While they themselves are protected by armed bailiffs, they have now effectively barred law-abiding citizens, in the Young case, from being able to carry openly. And in their previously decided Peruta case, they barred the ability of law-abiding citizens to carry concealed without showing ‘need.’ So, it’s the classic ‘guns for me, but not for thee’ double-standard. This despotic court has completely ignored the ‘shall not be infringed’ protection in the Second Amendment by denying decent citizens the right to bear arms.”
AmmoLand reached out to Young’s attorneys for comment but have not received comment by the time of this writing.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.