Yesterday, the lawyer (Alan Gura) in the Richards v Prieto CCW case filed his Appeal Brief before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In this brief, brought on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) the CalGuns foundation and several individuals, the Gura had this to say:
"Plaintiffs have never argued for a right to carry handguns in, specifically, a concealed manner."
Which is funny, although not in a good way, because he told the District Court judge that states can ban openly carried firearms. The funny thing is, the United States Supreme Court in its landmark Heller decision said concealed carry can be banned but openly carried firearms may not.
The Supreme Court had some rather harsh words for concealed carry, with the possible exception of carrying a firearm concealed while travelling; the High Court characterized the type of people who carry firearms concealed as thus:
"Likewise, in State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489, 490 (1850), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that citizens had a right to carry arms openly: “This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.” - Heller, pg., 40 (emphasis added)
"Secret advantages and unmanly assassinations." is hardly a resounding affirmation of concealed carry by the High Court.
Despite his obviously false denial that he (Gura) ever claimed that his losing case was about concealed carry, he once again repeats his argument that California may ban openly carried firearms so long as sheriff's and police chiefs are required to issue permits to carry firearms concealed.
"Legislatures might well prefer one form of carrying over another. Precedent relied upon by Heller reveals an ancient suspicion of weapons concealment where social norms viewed the wearing of arms as virtuous. But today, the open carrying of a handgun may be mistakenly viewed as provocative or alarming by individuals unfamiliar with firearms.
California’s mode of regulating the carrying of handguns thus makes perfect sense. In rural, sparsely populated areas, Sheriffs are allowed to issue permits to carry handguns openly. But in more populous areas, the state deprives Sheriffs of this ability, and specifies that permits to carry must be limited to concealed handguns." - SAF/CalGuns appeal brief pg., 31 (emphasis added)
"California’s mode of regulating the carrying of handguns thus makes perfect sense."
It may make perfect sense to the opponents of openly carried firearms, for the rest of us, not so much.
But wait, there is less. Gura makes an argument that our individual Second Amendment right can be denied because some folks don't like seeing us exercise our right to self-defense.
"Heller’s recognition of a right to carry a handgun does not force states such as California and Texas to allow the carrying of handguns in a manner they understandably perceive may cause needless public alarm, so long as a more socially-conducive option exists to allow people to exercise the right to bear arms."
It is a crime to openly carry a firearm in Texas.
Gura, the Second Amendment's "Boy Blunder" seems to think that fundamental constitutional rights exist so long as nobody is offended.
When Gura argued the Heller case before the US Supreme Court, the Court gave him the option of asking that the District of Columbia permit requirement be found unconstitutional. Gura refused. Unfortunately, I have since discovered that the plaintiff in the case, Richard Heller, favors permits and passing a government test before one can own a firearm. Fortunately, Justice Scalia explicitly stated that the decision did not address the question as to whether or not permits are constitutional.
Lest you think I am singling out the SAF and CalGuns, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has made similar attacks on openly carried firearms in its CCW case (Peruta v San Diego) going so far as to "warn" the Court of Appeals that if they do not rule in their favor and make CCWs shall-issue the "drastic" result would be that California's bans on Loaded Open Carry and the Gun Free School Zones would be overturned as unconstitutional. (PC 12031 & PC 626.9)
Which they are, and should be struck down.
California Open Carry advocates are raising funds to seek a Federal injunction against California Penal Code section 12031 (the statute which makes Loaded Open Carry a crime). If you would like to contribute to the legal fund, simply click here (MasterCard or Visa) or here (PayPal, MC, Visa).
The National Rifle Association opposes the lawsuit which will be brought in the Federal Courts, Central District of California (Los Angeles Courthouse).
If you are wondering why the NRA is, reluctantly opposing AB 144 by Assemblyman Portantino (D - Los Angeles) a bill which would make it a crime to openly carry an unloaded handgun in California; the central theme of the NRA case is that permits must be issued to carry handguns concealed because we Californians are denied our Second Amendment right by making it a crime to openly carry loaded firearms. A ban on handguns coupled with the requirement that long guns be carried unloaded would create a perfect symmetry with the Heller case (D.C., banned handguns and required that long guns be kept unloaded, locked up or disassembled.
Which makes a lawsuit seeking to overturn California's ban on Loaded Open Carry even more of a slam-dunk win*.
* The Open Carry advocates raising funds to overturn PC 12031 are opposed to AB 144. The fund raising is spearheaded by California Right To Carry, an organization officialy recognized by the California Legislature as opposed to AB 144.