Second Amendment Takes Double Shot in California

Posted: May 16, 2011 9:55 PM
A double-whammy came down today against gun rights advocates in California. First, the California Assembly voted to prohibit the open carry of unloaded handguns. Current law had allowed unloaded weapons to be carried openly in public.

"You are disarming our citizens" while doing little to disarm criminals, said Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.

"It is not just the right to keep, it is the right to bear arms," said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks.

California Democrats had seized upon the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the bill's introduction. Unable to pass a bill last year that accomplished the same goal, they brought a similar measure to the Assembly days after the Giffords tragedy in Arizona.

The second blow came (where else?) in a U.S. district coutroom, where a judge claimed that "there is no constitutional right to carry a handgun in public" - something that came as a surprise to Second Amendment lawyer Alan Gura, who litigated the case on the side of gun rights advocates.

Judge Morrison England, a Bush appointee, handed down the decision. The real irony, though? Judge England argued that, because California law allowed the open carry of unloaded weapons meant that gun rights advocates' concern for individual safety could be superceded. I wonder what he would have said if he knew, on this very day, that Democrats in the Assembly would be eliminating his rationale to overrule Californians' Second Amendment rights?