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.

Jim Johancen June 20, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Question- Why is it that every elected offical takes an oath to protect the constituion and then does every thing in his or her power to subvert it? case in point- Presidents and a batch of senators. almost every Democrap that breaths.
Charles E. Nichols June 20, 2012 at 09:09 PM
In 2010 the State of California changed the law. Licenses to openly carry a loaded handgun are now restricted to residents of a county with a population of fewer than 200,000 persons and are valid only in that county. The NRA did not oppose that change in the law nor did they oppose Senator Ted Lieu's expansion of California's so-called Gun Free School Zones from 1,000 to 1,500 feet. I pointed out to Senator Lieu that because he was elected in a special election with a very low voter turnout it would take very few signatures to force him into a recall election. Senator Lieu dropped the Gun Free School Zone expansion bill. The NRA has a Federal lawsuit in San Diego, which is now on appeal, where the NRA attorney (Chuck Michel) "warns" the court that if they don't make CCWs shall-issue, it would result in California's ban on Loaded Open Carry as well as California's Gun Free School Zone Act being overturned. The NRA says that would be "drastic." Obviously, I do not share the opinion of the NRA. If successful in obtaining an injunction against California's ban on Loaded Open Carry I will then seek to overturn California's Gun Free School Zone law. http://CaliforniaRightToCarry.org
Paul E. Mason June 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Jim Johancen, very good point, and to the point ! But, it is not the question that you ought to have asked. That question being this; Why do we not imprison the very people who take the oath of office, only to go against it with their actions while in office ? And the answer to that is very simply, we are not deserving the type of gov't. for which we inherited by our Grand Fore Fathers. Why ? Because we lack the courage and guts to carry out that most important deed in our U.S. Constitution. Which is, to follow it as a guide, and enforce it. Paul E. Mason
Frieda Wales June 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Mr. Nichols, what is a "CCWs shall-issue"? Is that a typo or gun owner relevant lingo? Also, why is a ban on open carry bad? In addition, why would someone oppose a Gun Free School Zone, if that is in fact how I am reading your statement? Mr. Rhee, what are the 29 states that allow unlicensed open carry?
Frieda Wales June 21, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I think you made a typo, Patch frowns on deliberate attempts a profanity, so I'm sure it's a typo, you didn't mean it.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Charles: I would like to personally invite you to blog on Laguna Niguel Patch ... interested?
David June 21, 2012 at 03:34 PM
The original ban that was created in 1967 was for loaded guns. not guns in general. That part of the article seems a bit misleading. Cause if it was an outright ban, then this law that was recently passed would not have even been created. If the state passes the law regarding the ban on carrying of all fire arms, then I can see this going up to SCOTUS. As the procedure for obtaining a CCW in CA are geared to make it impossible to achieve unless you are part of the Sheriffs "in" crowd. I know this because I tried to obtain one in Alameda county. As side from the parts that are commonsense, such as knowing the rules of force laws and range time. You needed to write a 2 page essay on why you needed one, pass a psychological exam, have one million dollars liability insurance in case the person you shot lived and on the last page it stated how much do you want to donate to the sheriffs re-election campaign. I still have that application. Up until the recent ban I carried unloaded open carry as a CCW was impossible to obtain. Now i carry concealed against the law. Because my life is more important to me than any law on the books. Since this ban effectively bans an entire class of individuals from obtaining a ccw permit. I can say that SCOTUS should strike that law down and force CA to make it easier for people that want to carry to obtain a CCW.
David June 21, 2012 at 03:38 PM
As for my views on CCW, I find it odd that I need to ask the government to practice a Right that was already granted by the Constitution, A Right that the SCOTUS refrained from making a decision on a couple years ago. I wonder why that was....Just remember this. A Right can not be taken away without due process of law. A privilege can. Every time you ask for permission to practice a Right, you are slowly eroding your Rights away and making them in to privileges. Do that enough times and you wont have any Rights.
David June 21, 2012 at 03:43 PM
one more thing regarding that 2 page essay I mentioned in my earlier post. It had to be detailed describing everything and self preservation was NOT considered to be a valid excuse to obtain a permit.
tim grizzle June 21, 2012 at 07:25 PM
As mentioned before, Unloaded Open Carry (for any weapons) was NOT banned until just this year. Loaded Open Carry (operative word being LOADED) was indeed banned as the author mentioned in 1967, and that was in response to the Black Panthers demonstrations during election time. It should be a lesson for the author (or any reporter or citizen) to do their research and get the facts straight, otherwise their misleading statements can be more harmful than an unloaded, legally carried weapon. For PC Mama - reference these sites about open carry, concealed carry and the impact they've had on crime in states smart enough to respect citizen's rights and the rule of law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_carry_in_the_United_States and my personal favorite where you can see the progression / affirmation that legal people (people like mom's, abused wives, old people, minorities or anyone who is threatened with violence) can and should legally be able to defend themselves: http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php Google Mr (Dr.) John Lott for an expert's appraisal. He's a researcher, not a paid NRA employee. Personally, I fully support Mr. Nichols efforts in this matter.... Tim Grizzle
ToddT June 21, 2012 at 09:29 PM
The only ambiguity being caused here would be authors like this who like to make it seem that way. The last part of the amendment states, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. This is very clear, because you cant infringe on something that already exists. Rights are NOT granted by government, they exist as soon as a person exists. The right to bear arms is already a right held by each individual and is unalienable, no law can exist to take the right away. There is nothing complicated here or ambiguous. I have the right to bear an arm and YOU, the government, the author nor anyone else has any authority to infringe on my unalienable right to bear arms. In fact, every single right is defined by the individual and is unalienable because every right you can define for yourself fits within the definitions of the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Please spare me the childish logic that you can give your self the right to kill someone or steal. You cant grant yourself the right to alienate someone else's rights. I have the right to bear arms, to drive, to walk, to call the sky purple, to work for whom I will, to NOT be part of a union, to keep the fruits of my efforts and to NOT have everything I earn and own taken by a government in the name of the benevolence of others. I in fact have the right to use those arms to defend my other rights and nothing can take my rights, I cant even voluntarily give them up and that includes owning weapons
Greg Zen June 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM
PATRIOT ACT. read it. the right to HAVE arms in any way is an illusion.
Charles E. Nichols June 22, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Debbie, I just submitted a blog. It's just waiting for someone at your end to make it go live.
Linda Cauble June 22, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Congratulations Paul. You win the kewpie doll.
esmael gonzales June 24, 2012 at 02:19 AM
And, I have the right TO bare OR NOT BARE ARMS AND TO BE PART OF A UNION! By the way, the unions have a historical significance that most Americans (especially republicans)have forgotten. They built this country into the leading power that it used to be! Now, the worker and the unions are stand in the way of GREED AND THE BOTTOM LINE... how much profit do these companies need?
Mike K June 24, 2012 at 07:07 AM
For a ccw in California there is a "good cause" provission that is unlike most other states. Basicly this provission gives law inforcement the ability to decline a ccw applicant if they dont think "good cause" exists for the applicant to be given a ccw. This has proven to be an absolute joke as there is no legal definition of"good couse" and the arbatrary decissions of law enforcement usually decline most all ccw applicants based on this requirement. The validity and relavance of requiring "good cause" flies inthe face of the "right to bear arms". Citizens are safer when criminals dont know who is armed!
Juan A. Pacheco June 24, 2012 at 02:59 PM
dorgnnr Well said Todd T. I only wish I could express myself as easily as you do. Kudos for Charles Nichols, TYRANNY is a cancer to a nation and a government that ignores its citizens is downwright Dangerous. We need to work to bring this great nation to gether, instill pride, unity, patriotism to freedom loving Americans.
Diane June 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Most of the ccw is for retired police. We can't get one. And someones full of it. If the people could carry. We could protect ourselves and they know it.
Michael June 24, 2012 at 10:16 PM
After 30 years as a cop, I can say that none of the officers of my department ever arrested a ccw holder for misdeeds involving their firearm. However, we arrested an awful lot of a-holes who weren't supposed to be anywhere near a gun. It's not the law-abiding citizen who is the problem, it's the thugs
Michael June 24, 2012 at 10:19 PM
That said, most Cops I worked with supported a right to a ccw for law abiding citizens.
Last Paratrooper June 25, 2012 at 12:49 AM
What do Californians not understand about "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED"? plain and simple it is a message to the government at any level, "don't you dare try to deny these rights"! I have been a gun owner for forty two of my 62 years of life. I have gone through police academy firearms training, military firearms training, and FBI firearms training. Two and a half years in Vietnam refined my aim and I hit what I am at within 1/8 of an inch at 100 yards! I never felt a need to carry a gun everyday, until I moved to LA County in California. After being assaulted 13 times I have carried a gun every time I leave the house! I don't give a damn what California Legislators and especially Sheriff Lee Baca have to say! I have the Constitution as my permit to carry concealed or openly! And I will continue to do so irregardless of the unlawful laws that prevail in California! IT’S A RIGHT …………….. not a privilege!!!
Jennifer Parker June 25, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I have read halfway through this page and I am so concerned for our Country. The Constitution was argued over for 10 years and many men struggled to choose the MOST important freedoms and to build a checks and balance system. I read something about the PATRIOT ACT which is an extreme violation of the constitution and I thought about the NATURALIZATION ACT this states that in the name of anti-terrorism anyone can be detained without being charged and/or shot dead! AND is not limited to foreign terrorists, yes this statement includes US citizens! Please help make people aware! MAKE THIS INFO VIRAL! PS. This is precisely why I am on my way to law school! ;)
tim grizzle June 25, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Sorry - but that is just what we don't need - more lawyers...
Ebuzzness June 26, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Good people of America, you must fight back today's liberal progression.
Jennifer Parker June 26, 2012 at 05:33 AM
I said law school! Not necessarily a lawyer...I actually think tort reform is one of the reasons I am so interested! I am a little upset at that comment! I believe in making a difference and everyone should learn how to defend oneself in this tyrannical government that is taking over. I am going to law school to arm myslef with legal ammunition to fight the very people that are TAKING our Constitutional rights and liberties! <3
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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