Appeals Courts Boast Victories for CCW, ‘Hi-Cap’ Magazines

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August ruled in a 2-1 decision that the Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense. The judges found the state of Hawaii had infringed on the rights of plaintiff George Young when it twice denied him a permit that state authorities require to openly carry a gun in public.

Also, in August, the 5th Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals very narrowly (8-7) declined to rehear a decision by a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit that reversed a lower-court holding the federal ban on the interstate sale of handguns does not violate the Second Amendment. The dissenting judges filed several opinions expressing concerns about how the circuit courts are applying the holding in Heller, and that they are “treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right.”

Some observers of another recent 9th Circuit 2-1 panel ruling, one upholding a lower-court injunction blocking the enforcement of a ban on so-called “high-capacity” magazines while a lawsuit against the ban can be heard, are noting that this decision will make it more likely that the U.S. Supreme Court may take up a Second Amendment case. It has not done so since Heller in 2010. The preliminary injunction was delivered by the U.S. District Court in July, just before the ban was to go into effect. The proposed ban would outlaw the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The judge who issued the injunction said the state law banning the magazines gave law-abiding gun owners “an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property.”