Last year, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that open carry in public was Constitutional. The case involved a man who filed suit against Hawaii after two denials for a gun permit to open carry.
The panel ruled against the Aloha State, which claimed that the 2nd Amendment only applied to carrying in one’s home. However, the panel stated that Hawaii had overstepped its authority to regulate firearms in a 2-1 decision.
“We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in the ruling, according to Reuters. “But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
The ruling potentially paves the way for a Supreme Court hearing, because now the Ninth Circuit has agreed to rehear the case en banc. This means that a full panel of judges will hear the case — 10 randomly chosen judges plus the chief judge. This also makes six U.S. circuit courts to rule that open carry is constitutional. However, this also means that the ruling will likely be reversed.
Ninth Circuit Court Gun Rulings
The Ninth Circuit Court is based in San Francisco. Over the years, the full court has repeatedly ruled against gun rights, even though a panel might rule in favor of these rights. In fact, in 2016, the full court reversed a panel ruling that struck down California’s “good cause” permit requirement. The full court also ruled that California’s Unsafe Handgun Act was constitutional, despite a different ruling from a panel of judges.
The Supreme Court has not ruled on gun rights since the 2010, when it upheld a right to own guns for self defense in the home. However, the court has already agreed to hear arguments on a case regarding New York City’s firearm transportation laws.