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Gun Owners of CA Joins First Major 2nd Amendment SCOTUS Case In Ten Years

Decision could turn California into a ‘shall-issue’ state 

By Katy Grimes, May 17, 2019 2:05 am

As several new gun control bills passed out of the California Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, I spoke with Sam Paredes, Executive Director of Gun Owners of California. “It was an ugly day,” Paredes said.

However, Gun Owners of California may be looking at good news on the horizon. Since the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment decisions in Heller v DC 2008 and McDonald v Chicago in 2010, questions continually arise concerning the scope of government’s power to infringe and even restrict the possession and use of all firearms, through regulations that impose harsh conditions and requirements on gun owners.

In January, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision to hear a case that challenges New York City’s near-prohibition on owning or transporting handguns. This is significant for Californians as the Golden State also has such restrictive gun laws.

Gun Owners of California joined the California Rifle and Pistol Association to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, to decide whether New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the commerce clause and the constitutional right to travel. Their joint brief supports the parties challenging New York City’s restrictive handgun licensing prohibition scheme as a violation of the Second Amendment and other constitutional rights.

Paredes explained that New York City “allows” its citizens to own a gun and keep it at home, but they can only transport their gun to and from a city-sponsored gun range, of which there are only three. New York City gun owners are not allowed to travel with their guns to competitions even within the state, to a second home within the state, out of state, or anywhere other than the city-sanctioned gun ranges.

Believing that New York City has stepped far over the constitutionality line, Paredes said the Gun Owners of California brief submitted to the Supreme Court also addresses how district and appellate courts have blatantly thumbed their collective noses and ignored the warnings from the Supreme Court from using judicial “balancing tests” when deciding Second Amendment cases. Paredes said they are hoping the Supreme Court will use language by Justice Antonin Scalia, directed at lower courts, that they should only use the “text, history, and tradition of words” actually written in the Constitution by the founders, at the time it was written.

Paredes said this is the first case accepted by the high court since the Heller v DC 2008 and McDonald v Chicago in 2010, landmark decisions that clearly stated the right to keep and bear arms is an individual, as opposed to, collective right. Further, this individual right was deemed so important to “ordered liberty” that the court ruled neither state nor local governments could infringe upon it.

The GOC brief asserts “Following watershed decisions from this Court like those in Heller and McDonald, one would expect legislatures to revisit their existing laws and amend them in deference to the Second Amendment. Not only have few, if any, jurisdictions undertaken such an effort, but several have instead substantially increased those burdens… courts have not only mostly upheld laws challenged under the Second Amendment, but have done so in a manner that telegraphs to legislatures hostile to the Second Amendment that there will be no repercussions for infringing the Peoples’ right to keep and bear arms.”

GOC is therefore asking the Supreme Court to address the issue of review and direct lower courts to use nothing more than textual, historical and traditional analysis of the meaning of the words used in the Constitution.

Paredes said if the court addresses this specific issue and rules that courts cannot use traditional balancing tests to decide gun control cases, “the legal door will swing open for the 2ndAmendment community to challenge all of California’s unconstitutional gun control laws.”

“Passing this will save more lives than all of the gun control laws that criminals take advantage of,” Paredes said. “If this passes, so-called ‘assault weapons,’ ‘safe weapons,’ magazine limitations, ‘Gunmageddon,’ and limits on ammo purchases may be reversed. This could turn California into a ‘shall-issue’ state.”

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday also urged the Supreme Court to overturn the New York City gun law that regulates where licensed handgun owners can take their firearms, CNN reported. “New York City’s transport ban infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd and 14th Amendments,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in a friend of the court brief. Francisco asked the court to “confirm” that the Second Amendment also protects the right of a “law-abiding, responsible citizen to take his firearms outside his home, and to transport it to other places — such as a second home or a firing range — where he may lawfully possess that firearm.”

Notably, Nelson Lund, University Professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, wrote this explanation: “A ban (or severe restrictions) on both concealed and open carry would seem to conflict with the constitutional text. It would also seem hard to reconcile with the Court’s emphasis on the importance of the right to self-defense against violent criminals, who are at least as likely to be encountered outside the home as within it.”

Katy Grimes

Katy Grimes, the Editor of the California Globe, is a long-time Investigative Journalist covering the California State Capitol, and the co-author of California's War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?
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12 thoughts on “Gun Owners of CA Joins First Major 2nd Amendment SCOTUS Case In Ten Years

  1. A moderated comments section..

    If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarcy. We just need strong statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!

    In writing to William Jarvis, Jefferson said, “You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

    The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”

    1. The ultimate supreme law of America, is an amendment to the US Constitution, something the Supreme Court cannot override, but which the people may revolt against and through civil war replace.

    2. “If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarcy. We just need strong statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!”

      If this were true then schools would still be allowed to be segregated through “STATE’S RIGHTS” in the south.

      It’s the Right of THE PEOPLE, not the Right of the State, and when the state violates the rights of the people then that law is deemed unconstitutional, so your argument doesn’t hold just because you “feel some type of way” about guns.

      Lastly, the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with a well regulated militia being a requirement for private gun ownership because if that were the case then the 2nd Amendment would never apply to African Americans as when the 2nd Amendment was written SLAVES were never considered to be apart of the Militia at that time or in the future tense. Blacks were chattel labor at the time, saying otherwise would be akin to saying constitutional rights apply to cows, pigs, and other livestock in the future because one day we might see them as people who can be incorporated into a militia. The fact that whites justified not seeing blacks as equals for fear of then exercising their 2nd Amendment right highlight just how much the right was an individual right and not a right of the Militia. Besides it says the right of the people, not the right of the Militia.

  2. Sad very sad. Why are people putting any kind of gun ahead of human lives. We’re supposed to be civilized society not a bunch of gun slinging cowboys of over 100 years ago. Guns have evolved too bad people haven’t.. Sad very sad and scary

    1. Why are people putting any kind of gun ahead of human lives? Perhaps it is because that phone in your hand cannot stop the person trying to end your life.

    2. Speak for yourself Bobbie. It sounds like you may live someplace like Mexico where guns are illegal yet about 38,000 people are murdered every year by criminals with guns.

    3. In all fairness, if we are a “civil” society can you please explain the need for Law Enforcement? If all citizens participated in the societal norm to not break there would be no need for the entire justice system, penal system as well. So please… Explain how because of some arbitrary label you’d like to place upon society, that those citizens who “do” obey it’s laws are placed at a disadvantage to the criminal element by the Gov’t? I believe, in the pursuit of happiness, it’s supposed to be the other way around. The Gov’t is supposed to “protect” rights, not subject them to scrutiny and make them self serving, or here by example, impossible to be exercised.

  3. The 2008 US Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which defined the Second Amendment right as well as the 2008 SCOTUS decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, made it perfectly clear that concealed carry is not a right under the Second Amendment as did Justice Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. It would take the vote of five of the nine justices to overrule the Heller and McDonald decisions (traditionally, it took six votes but times have changed).

    These so-called gun-rights groups claim that states can ban Open Carry, which is and always has been the Second Amendment right, if favor of concealed carry. It won’t happen in any Supreme Court decision in our lifetime nor will the 9th circuit reverse its en banc decision in Peruta v. San Diego which held that concealed carry is not a right.

    The next time you interview Sam or anyone who supports banning Open Carry in favor of concealed carry. Ask them to list the names of the five justices who will vote to overturn the Heller and McDonald decisions.

    Here is a short video clip of Justice Scalia, the justice who wrote the Heller decision, explicitly stating that concealed carry is not a right.

    https://youtu.be/hmrfyYBdA-E

    1. Typo, McDonald v. City of Chicago was published in 2010. There was also an 1897 SCOTUS decision, Robertson v. Baldwin, which said that prohibitions on concealed carry do not infringe on the Second Amendment right.

      As the 10th circuit court of appeals decision observed in Peterson v. Martinez, “Although the Robertson Court’s statement does not qualify as recent, the Supreme Court’s contemporary Second Amendment jurisprudence does nothing to enfeeble—but rather strengthens—the statement that concealed carry restrictions do not infringe the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. As did Robertson, the Heller opinion notes that, “[l]ike most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” 554 U.S. at 626. As an example of the limited nature of the Second Amendment right to keep and carry arms, the Court observed that “the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.” Id. And the Court stressed that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions.” Id. There can be little doubt that bans on the concealed carrying of firearms are longstanding. “

  4. “If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarcy. We just need strong statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!”

    If this were true then schools would still be allowed to be segregated through “STATE’S RIGHTS” in the south.

    It’s the Right of THE PEOPLE, not the Right of the State, and when the state violates the rights of the people then that law is deemed unconstitutional, so your argument doesn’t hold just because you “feel some type of way” about guns.

    Lastly, the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with a well regulated militia being a requirement for private gun ownership because if that were the case then the 2nd Amendment would never apply to African Americans as when the 2nd Amendment was written SLAVES were never considered to be apart of the Militia at that time or in the future tense. Blacks were chattel labor at the time, saying otherwise would be akin to saying constitutional rights apply to cows, pigs, and other livestock in the future because one day we might see them as people who can be incorporated into a militia. The fact that whites justified not seeing blacks as equals for fear of then exercising their 2nd Amendment right highlight just how much the right was an individual right and not a right of the Militia. Besides it says the right of the people, not the right of the Militia.

  5. The Constitution clearly states and in simple terms ..Shall not be infringed.. Why is this so hard for every one to understand? The Supreme court and too many of these Politicians have violated the Constitution.
    The founding Fathers knew these politicians would try to take and restrict guns. they did not say hunting rifles only..

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