The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has been chipping away at the Second Amendment for years, but when he takes office, President Donald Trump can limit the ramifications of their decisions–actually reversing them in some instances–by appointing the pro-Second Amendment, pro-Constitution justice he pledged to appoint while running for office.
The Ninth Circuit ruled on December 14 that it is constitutional for a state to require residents who pass a background check to then wait ten days before being allowed to take possession of the gun they wish to purchase. The court suggested this ten-day waiting period provides a “cooling-off period,” a theory that is moot in light of the fact that the ten-day wait applies to California residents who already own guns, too. That is, Californians who already own guns and are simply seeking a new one have to wait ten days as if it were the first gun they ever purchased.
On June 9, the Ninth Circuit had taken an even more egregious swipe at the Second Amendment by ruling that Americans have no right to carry a concealed gun outside the home for self-defense. Judge Williams Fletcher wrote, “We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.” This ruling not only undercut concealed carry as a right, but also upheld California’s “good cause” requirement, which was challenged in Peruta v. San Diego County. It means Californians cannot simply carry a gun because they have a God-given right to keep and bear arms. Rather, they are allowed to carry only if they show their state government “good cause” for so doing and the state government approves.
Notably, the Ninth Circuit’s decision in favor of the “good cause” requirement came as a result of a reversal, wherein the court reheard Peruta after originally ruling against the “good cause” requirement. Even more notable is the fact that the Ninth’s original ruling against “good cause” explained the court’s position that upholding the requirement would demonstrate failure to truly grasp the Second Amendment.
As the NRA’s America’s 1st Freedom observes:
The original Ninth Circuit ruling in Peruta had noted the many disagreements taking place in the courts over the Second Amendment: “Our reading of the Second Amendment is akin to the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation … and at odds with the approach of the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits. … We are unpersuaded by the decisions of the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits for several reasons. First, contrary to the approach in Heller, all three courts declined to undertake a complete historical analysis of the scope and nature of the Second Amendment right outside the home. … As a result, they misapprehend both the nature of the Second Amendment right and the implications of state laws that prevent the vast majority of responsible, law-abiding citizens from carrying in public for lawful self-defense purposes.”
Such is the fight for freedom now taking place in many courts. Some of these cases will likely, at some point, make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
During the October 9 presidential debate, Trump stated that he was running to save the Second Amendment from “people like Hillary Clinton.” To do so, he pledged to put forward a nominee “in the mold of Antonin Scalia.” By nominating such an individual, Trump will also save the Second Amendment from the Ninth Circuit’s grip.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.