A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that there is no right to carry a gun in public.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 7-4 ruling rejected a challenge to Hawaii’s requirement that residents must pass an application to have weapons outside the home.
Hawaii’s law requires residents to show an urgency or need to carry a firearm, the applicant must have good character, and he or she must be “engaged in the protection of life and property.”
George Young applied twice for a firearm carry license, but was denied. He unsuccessfully sued Hawaii officials over the restrictions.
“There is no right to carry arms openly in public; nor is any such right within the scope of the Second Amendment,” the court ruled in an “en banc” decision that involved 11 of the panel’s judges.
“We can find no general right to carry arms into the public square for self-defense,” the majority wrote, claiming that the Second Amendment applies to the “defense of hearth and home.”
“The power of the government to regulate carrying arms in the public square does not infringe in any way on the right of an individual to defend his home or business,” the judges wrote.
The court noted that “we have previously held that individuals do not have a Second Amendment right to carry concealed weapons in public,” which means people in the West Coast states the appeals court covers have no right to carry a firearm..
Four of the panel’s judges disagreed with the ruling, arguing the state regulations destroyed the right to carry a gun for self-defense outside of the home.
“This holding is as unprecedented as it is extreme,” wrote Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee.
The National Rifle Association said it would not allow the ruling to stand.
“The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit just ruled that THERE IS NO RIGHT TO CARRY – either openly or concealed in public. This ruling impacts RTC laws in AK, HI, CA, AZ, OR, WA, & MT. This was not an NRA case but we are exploring all options to rectify this,” the gun-rights group wrote on Twitter.
Blue states saw the ruling as a green light to implement strict firearm laws.
Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey’s attorney general, said he was proud to lead 10 states that filed a brief in the legal battle to support firearm safety laws.
“Today the Ninth Circuit agreed that laws that limit carrying guns in public are constitutional,” he wrote on Twitter.
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