Ninth Circuit: Limiting Open Carry to Police, Security Guards Violates Second Amendment

Open Carry Rebecca CookReuters
Rebecca Cook/Reuters

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday that restricting the open carry of firearms to police and security-related personnel infringes the Second Amendment.

Breitbart News reported that the ruling was handed down in an appeal of George Young’s suit against Hawaii. Young sued after being twice denied a license to carry a gun outside his home and a District Court sided with Hawaii. The Ninth Circuit’s three-judge panel sided with Young, noting that the “Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”

The majority opinion in the ruling was written by Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, who said:

Restricting open carry to those whose job entails protecting life or property necessarily restricts open carry to a small and insulated subset of law-abiding citizens. Just as the Second Amendment does not protect a right to bear arms only in connection with a militia, it surely does not protect a right to bear arms only as a security guard. The typical, lawabiding citizen in the State of Hawaii is therefore entirely foreclosed from exercising the core Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense.

O’ Scannlain added, “Thus, we hold that…[the] limitation on the open carry of firearms to those ‘engaged in the protection of life and property’ violates the core of the Second Amendment.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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