SAN FRANCISCO — As the nation debates gun control following two mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, a California-based federal appeals court decided Wednesday that states may restrict the open carrying of guns without running afoul of the 2nd Amendment.
In a 7-4 decision, an en banc panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a county law in Hawaii that has severely limited permits for open carrying of guns.
“The government may regulate, and even prohibit, in public places — including government buildings, churches, schools, and markets — the open carrying of small arms capable of being concealed, whether they are carried concealed or openly,” Judge Jay Bybee, appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote for the majority.
“There is no right to carry arms openly in public; nor is any such right within the scope of the Second Amendment,” Judge Jay Bybee, a nominee of George W. Bush, wrote in the majority opinion.
“Our review of more than 700 years of English and American legal history reveals a strong theme: government has the power to regulate arms in the public square,” he continued.
“History is messy and, as we anticipated, the record is not uniform, but the overwhelming evidence from the states’ constitutions and statutes, the cases, and the commentaries confirms that we have never assumed that individuals have an unfettered right to carry weapons in public spaces.”