The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 2-1 Tuesday that the Second Amendment [text] includes the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense purposes.
The Ninth Circuit said that Hawaii’s license to carry statute [text] unconstitutionally restricted the plaintiff’s Second Amendment rights because it limited open carry privileges to anyone who “is engaged in the protection of life and property.”
Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority, saying:
The Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. We would thus flout the Constitution if we were to hold that, “in regulating the manner of bearing arms, the authority of [the State] has no other limit than its own discretion…” While many respectable scholars and activists might find virtue in a firearms-carry regime that restricts the right to a privileged few, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”
Judge Richard Clifton wrote in his dissent that:
[T]he majority opinion has disregarded the fact that states and territories in a variety of regions have long allowed for extensive regulations of and limitations on the public carry of firearms. Many have taken the approach that Hawaii has taken for almost a century.
The case was brought by George Young in 2012 after being twice denied a handgun license by the County of Hawaii’s Chief of Police in 2011 as he did not meet the requirements.