California and The 2nd Amendment

California's ban on open carry of firearms has been in place since 1967. Will Charles Nichols, president of CaliforniaRightToCarry.Org, overturn it?

The Second Amendment [of the U.S. Constitution] states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

We assess this, in the 21st century, as the basis for providing an individual the right to possess and use a firearm.

However, much contention has arisen from this statement, particularly over the phrase: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The definition of “bear arms” (as an idiom) means, “to carry weapons,” and the above statement can be read as thus: “The right of the people to keep and carry weapons.” Yet, even with the translation, an ambiguity still exists. There are numerous ways in which a firearm can be “carried,” and the controversy is whether it should be publicly bared or concealed.

Proponents of either argument have taken sides, under the names “open carry” and “concealed carry.” Open carriers argue that open carry is a crime deterrent, and allows for more accessibility in the case of an incident.

Concealed carriers argue that concealed carry offers the element of surprise, and is more appropriate for certain environments (church, shopping malls, etc).

Logistics show that the majority of states are leaning toward open carry, evidenced by the fact that only seven states (and the District of Columbia) disallow it. Fourteen of the remaining states permit open carry with a license and 29 states allow unlicensed open carry.

The issue has become prevalent, thanks to a recent lawsuit by Charles Nichols, the president of CaliforniaRightToCarry.Org. Nichols, a resident of Los Angeles County, openly carried a shotgun through the Redondo Beach Pier Shopping Center and adjacent city park, before he was detained and his firearm was seized. Nichols was apparently under the impression that his public demonstration would be ignored. His previous petition for a license to open carry was denied, because California only grants licenses to open carry to residents of counties with less than 200,000 people - L.A. County outnumbers the quota by 9.8 million people.

In filing a lawsuit, Nichols became the first individual to challenge California’s open carry gun ban. The ban was brought forth in 1967, banning the open carry of a loaded firearm. Nichols is jointly challenging the state statute that denies open carry licenses to residents of counties of more than 200,000 people.

Regardless of the official ruling, the age-old question of what the 2nd Amendment entails will have to be answered. In Charles Nichols' case, he hopes it will include the open carry of firearms, reducing the number of states that disallow open carry to six.

Jennifer Parker June 26, 2012 at 05:36 AM
I will be there to defend the rights of anyone that wants to carry a gun in any county! It might be you someday....
Mojavegreen Nln July 09, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Mojavegreen Nln July 09, 2012 at 10:02 PM
has anyone seen the latest on this garbage? http://www.examiner.com/article/senate-set-to-approve-controversial-un-gun-treaty
Leonard Kinkade July 12, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I guess what we need to remember is how the government of Germany took all firearms from their citizens prior to World War Two. See: http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/article-nazilaw.pdf
Joe Armstrong January 22, 2013 at 07:43 AM
The Constitution does not give you the right to bear arms. It recognizes that you have always had that right and as a condition of support for the Constitution by the states that, that right; that you always had; will not be infringed. Some people like to refer to the right as a God given right. The courts refer to it as a fundamental right. We need to buck the Democrats by always referring to the second amendment as an amendment that protects an individual right that pre-dates the Constitution. Local, State and Federal governments are restricted from, and have no authority, under the constitution to infringe on this pre-existing right as well as the any pre-existing right protected by the first through the 10th amendment. It is the Democrat controlled education system that has led you to believe otherwise.


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