So, we have the happy situation in that we live in Arizona, where the firearms laws are the least restrictive of any in the country. But will that always be the case? There have been some interesting and apparantly contradictory decissions by various state supreme courts recently that almost guarantee that the US supreme court will take up the matter of concealed carry in the not to distant future.
On May 17th, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon handed down a judgement that Washington DC police's requirment for "individuals to show “good reason” to obtain a permit to carry a firearm on the streets of the nation’s capital" violated the "“core right of self-defense” granted in the Second Amendment".
The judge based his ruling on previous case law from 2008, and it seems that the city, after a request to have the decission held was denied, are preparing an appeal. The original long standing ban on carrying any firearms in public was overturned by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr in July 2014. Subsequently, he issued a further opinion in May last year, saying the District’s recently passed “good reason” requirement still “impinges on Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment right to bear arms,” because it did not target dangerous people or specifically how or where individuals carry weapons.
And that would seem to have been that, or was it? Today we have a ruling that would seem to go directly against these prior rulings. In California (where else!!) a 7-to-4 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the same court. California law requires applicants to demonstrate “good cause” for carrying a weapon, like working in a job with a security threat, which would seem to be exactly the same position as Washington residents had found themselves in.
It would seem that some district courts do not agree with others, that people have a fundamental right to defend themselves. It seems that in states like California, you are only allowed access to proper self defence if you are ALREADY in danger, or are rich or important. Is that really what the 2nd amendment was/is all about?
In a wider context, it would seem that this issue is destined to arrive at the US supreme court in the not to distant future, raising another disturbing prospect. At the moment, the Supreme Court could spilt 4 vs 4 on this issue, and that would seem likely. But what happens after the election. If the democrats win in November, and appoint a more "progressive" justice, will they uphold the intent of the 2nd amendment as they have done by a margin of 1 vote in the past?
All this only becomes an issue of course if the state attempts to institute draconian CCW laws, probably unlikely in Arizona, but does that mean we should rest easy? I would suggest that sitting back and discussing how lucky we are, and how they suffer in California, we do something now to prepare for what I would suggest is an inevitable attack on your right to carry a concealed firearm in the not to distant future.
But the $64,000 question is what do we do? How can we protect our rights and the 2nd amendment? I would really like to hear your thought, what do YOU think we should do?
Todays ninth circuit court ruling.
May's Washington ruling.