Gun Rights Advocates Sue California to Allow Open Carry

open carry in california
The suit says that a court decision in June leaves residents with no legal means to bear arms. photo from presstv.comweb photo

According to this story from Fox News, gun rights advocates in California have filed a "sweeping new legal challenge" this week to the state's open-carry restrictions. after similar efforts failed earlier in the summer.

The suit argues that a recent court decision effectively denies residents "their fundamental rights to bear arms" and contradicts a landmark Supreme Court 2nd Amendment ruling, the story says.

“Plaintiffs say the case, Flanagan v. Harris, is a 'direct response' to a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that preserved a California county sheriff’s restrictive policies on carrying a concealed weapon.”

“Considering the state’s additional restrictions on carrying a gun openly in public, plaintiffs argued in their new lawsuit that they have been ‘completely barred from exercising their right to bear arms—in any manner.’

“The suit contends, ‘the Supreme Court has made clear that the right to bear arms cannot be completely foreclosed.’”

The story reports that plaintiffs in the suit include gun owner and resident Michelle Flanagan and the California Rifle & Pistol Association. The suit names California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Sheriff James McDonnell as defendants.

In the earlier case challenging local concealed-carry restrictions, which we reported on in June, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit—based in San Francisco and the largest of all federal appeals courts—initially agreed with the plaintiffs, saying in 2014 that the state's policies were unconstitutional.

Later, the panel then asked the case be re-heard by an 11-judge bench, which essentially found the state’s laws were constitutional, because there is no constitutional right to carry a concealed firearm.

“Lawyers in the new case argue the plaintiffs in the original case never made the concealed-carry claim, and that the court’s decision shows a ‘constrained view of the right to bear arms.’”

“More broadly, they say the new case seeks to affirm what the Supreme Court instructed in the landmark gun-rights case District of Columbia v. Heller—that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual rights of responsible, law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.”