Ninth Circuit (!) rules that Hawaii must allow open carry of firearms

A new civil rights revolution is underway.  Just as the 1950s and '60s saw courts taking seriously the Fourteenth Amendment's  guarantees of racial equality, we now see courts forcing government officials to recognize the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to bear arms – even the ultra-liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of San Francisco.  Stephen Dinan of The Washington Examiner reports:

Americans have a constitutional right to openly carry firearms, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, delivering a major victory to gun rights supporters.

While courts previously have recognized the right to own firearms to protect the home, the decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit extends that into the public sphere, calling it a "core Second Amendment right."

In a 2-1 ruling, the panel said Hawaii's law severely restricting guns outside homes or businesses tramples on that right.

Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, who wrote the majority opinion, scoured history from Geoffrey Chaucer's England to the American antebellum period to trace the history of gun rights.  He ruled that there is little doubt the authors of the Second Amendment were comfortable with Americans openly carrying weapons for self-defense, and until the Constitution is changed, that remains the standard.

"For better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense," the judge wrote.

Stephen Gutkowski of the Free Beacon notes that Hawaii has passed laws that attempted to work around the civil rights of Americans:

Hawaii has long had some of the most restrictive gun-carry laws in the country.  It currently employs a "may issue" gun-carry law, in which state officials may deny permits to applicants even if they've passed a background check and training requirements.

According to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Hawaii did not issue a single gun-carry permit to any civilians in 2017.  The same was true in 2016.  They are the only state in the country to not issue a single gun-carry permit in either year.

George Young, a native Hawaiian and Vietnam veteran, was denied a gun-carry permit in 2011 and decided to file a lawsuit against the state.  Young had to act as his own lawyer because he couldn't find a lawyer in the state who was willing to work on his behalf.  After his first two attempts at legal action failed, Alan Beck, a California-based lawyer with ties to Hawaii, offered to help him with his suit on a pro bono basis.

Sunset on Hawaii's civil rights abridgement (photo credit: FLJuJitsu via Wikimedia Commons).

I am so old that I remember when Southern states tried similar maneuvers to vacate the right to vote for African-Americans.  This civil rights revolution on the right of self-defense is at a stage comparable to the late 1950s.

It is expected that Hawaii will appeal the Ninth Circuit's ruling, which means that the confirmation hearings of Judge Kavanaugh will likely include extended attention to the Second Amendment's meaning.  Red-state Democrat senators up for re-election in 2018 now have to contend with Second Amendment civil rights activists as they consider their votes.

Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt, Instapundit

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