9th Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down Hawaii’s Concealed Carry Law

20 Mar , 2014  

Appeals Court Judges Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, Sidney R. Thomas, and Consuelo M. Callahan, who made the decision striking down California’s requirement of demonstrating the need to carry a concealed handgun before a permit was granted, have now made the same decision regarding Hawaii. Of course, people who want to be able to carry shouldn’t run out very quickly to go and get their permits (Orange County, California is an exception (see also here)).

The California Attorney General took up San Diego’s appeal and has asked for an En Banc hearing of the entire 9th Circuit when the county decided not to appeal the case. The decision by O’Scannlain et al. was decided purely along political party lines (two Republican appointees voted to strike down the restrictions in California and Hawaii and the one Democratic appointee voted to uphold it), and if that is predictive of what the entire 9th Circuit will decide, it seems very likely that these two decisions will be reversed.

However, there is a bright spot. These two states provide perfect cases to bring before the Supreme Court. Hawaii may have a concealed handgun law, but no permits have been granted. In California, San Francisco county has issued no permits. Los Angeles county has only issued just over 200 permits. If you want a decision to appeal, it helps that the law was very restrictive.

If it were me, I would have waited on bringing the NY, NJ, and MD cases. It has been very difficult to get permits to carry in those places, but, unlike Hawaii or, say, San Francisco where it has been impossible to get a permit, it was at least possible to get one. The Hawaii and California laws would thus be much more difficult to defend. The problem that you face here is that the lawyers who are running the 9th Circuit cases and the ones from the other states are not the same and rather than waiting for the best case to take to the US Supreme Court there is a desire among lawyers for it to be their case that gets there.


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