Gun Control’s Unintended Consequences

The California Assembly has passed a bill that would make it illegal to openly carry firearms in public. Writing in The Los Angeles Times, liberal UCLA law professor Adam Winkler argues that gun control enthusiasts should take a moment to contemplate the unintended consequences of that ban becoming law:

[If] California bans what is called "open carry," the state will probably have to loosen the standards for people to have permits to carry concealed weapons. In California, gun owners can only legally carry a concealed firearm, loaded or unloaded, if they have a permit. And in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, "concealed carry" permits are very difficult to obtain — arguably too difficult, if AB 144 becomes law.

As Winkler explains, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that while the right to bear arms is not absolute, it is nonetheless substantial. And as Winkler puts it, “States may be able to ban people from carrying concealed weapons or prohibit them from carrying them openly, but probably not both.” In other words, if Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill into law, expect a number of successful lawsuits challenging the state’s overly restrictive permit process and leading to more legally concealed firearms. Probably not the result most gun control activists had in mind.

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  • Carmen Senz||

    If you don't like guns, don't own one.

  • ||

    I don't own a gun, but not because of any dislike.

    It is simply that I am not willing to invest the time and effort to become competent in handling one safely and in doing the practice necessary to maintain such competence.

  • ||

    One of the smartest statements I have heard concerning this subject for a long time.

  • Bill Maher||

    You don't exist.

  • fish||

    Bill? Bill Maher? I remember you....you were in that shitty movie where you played a pizza delivery guy.

    Tour de force man....tour de force!

  • Spooner||

    I respect your decision, but if you ever decide to own one, it's not as big a burden as you think, I find it quite enjoyable.

  • JD||

    Aresen's in Canada, which legally mandates training prior to purchasing firearms. Its especially a burden if you want to buy a handgun or any other firearm classified as Restricted.

  • ||

    The legal hoops I would have to go through are a whole other issue.

    My primary concern is learning to handle one safely, which, as I said above, I am not willing to invest the time to do.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You're not interested in investing 5-10 minutes of your time?

    They're guns, not fucking space shuttles.

  • ||

    I'm going to have to agree with mad libertarian guy above.

    While I respect the stance, I'm rather curious as to exactly what onerous learning process you believe learning to handle a gun safely entails?

  • ||

    You know, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to handle a weapon safely.

    The rules are few, only four:

    1. The gun is always loaded - this means you MUST always assume every gun is loaded all the time, which makes you very conscientious about following rules 2 through 4.

    2. Never point a gun at anything you do not want to destroy.

    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

    4. Always be sure of your target (know for sure what you are shooting at) AND know what's behind it.

    Follow these and you'll be safe.

  • Juice||

    If you don't like being mauled by a bear, don't own one.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If lawmakers and their special interest overlords sat around all day considering the consequences of their actions, we wouldn't get anything done.

    And what gun control enthusiast is going to self-censor his natural instinct just because it's going to have an opposite effect?

  • ||

    Considering what happened to Brian Aitken in New Jersey, I think that you are overoptimisitic that an unduly burdensome gun control law would be successfully challenged.

  • R||

    You forget about Heller or McDonald?

    Just because they haven't gotten around to New Jersey yet, doesn't mean there's no hope.

  • Juice||

    They did get to New Jersey with McDonald.

  • R||

    Yes, but because NJ's infringements are different than Chicago's, they're still going to have to take their asses to court first to get them to knock it off, and that takes time, unfortunately.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What pussies there be in California.

  • ||

    I think walking into Starbucks and other places with a gun strapped to their hip was a pretty gutsy thing to do in places like San Francisco, where they're extremely hostile to gun ownership.

    Having dozens of people show up at the beach in San Francisco with guns on their hips--as a form of protest--took a lot of guts.

    It took the hippie sit-in and turned it on its head.

    Oh, and Orange County, the Inland Empire, North San Diego County and Bakersfield are probably redder than Texas is statewide, so kiss my ass.

  • sarcasmic||

    They did that recently in Portland Maine, and the protesters got really nasty.
    They were actively trying to provoke an incident to prove a point.

    A couple years before some guy went for a walk with an openly displayed firearm.
    Someone of course called the police who came to question him (despite the state constitution saying "Section 16. To keep and bear arms. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned."), then search him, whereupon they found he had a pocket knife that was too big.

    He went to jail.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Non-violent protest results in arrest. How kind of the Obama Admin.

  • sarcasmic||

    By protesters I mean the anti-gunners who were going around with signs, yelling at people, poking the guys with guns in the chest.
    Nucking futs.

  • ||

    Everybody gets nuts at stuff like that.

    Protest is a provocative act. It's ballsy.

    MLK used to go around provoking people all the time.

    Honestly, I think California's model isn't entirely awful. It's just that because your local Sheriff decides who gets a cc permit and who doesn't, that means that getting a permit in Orange County is relatively easy, and getting one in San Francisco is relatively impossible.

    I'm not sure I understand why there needs to be state wide uniformity.

    Why should Bakersfield, which like I said, is redder than most red states, have the same rules as Los Angeles? Those places have totally different cultures.

    And this is just one more thing for places like LA to consider. They cannot legally stop law abiding citizens from arming themselves for protection. If they don't give out cc permits, then they have to tolerate bold people doing open carry.

    If they don't want people doing open carry, then they need to give out cc permits.

    Who better than local government to make that choice? That's what local government is for.

    Why should the State of California make the choice for everyone? Why should Irvine necessarily have the same choice imposed on them as Compton?

  • sarcasmic||

    Protesting the protesters is one thing, but trying to provoke someone with a gun?
    That just shows how insanely stupid the leftard anti-gun crowd is.
    Terminally stupid if they succeed in their provocation.

  • ||

    Got to disagree, the idea was to prove how crazy those lunatic gun ownwers are by provoking a reaction. Imagine if someone had pulled his gun or even "better" shot someone. A PR win !What politician would dare vote against a ban on open carry, especially if it were "Name Of Victim's Law" ?

  • ||

    "Got to disagree..."

    On what basis?

    Looks like we're in perfect agreement!

  • cynical||

    They should blow the provocateurs up with a homemade explosive instead, just for the irony factor.

  • ||

    "Protesting the protesters is one thing, but trying to provoke someone with a gun? That just shows how insanely stupid the leftard anti-gun crowd is. Terminally stupid if they succeed in their provocation."

    Do you know what a "black bloc" is and what it's really for?

    When you cut through all the BS, it's really to antagonize the cops into beating innocent protestors in front of the media. It's standard.

    That goes back farther than MLK; that goes back to Gandhi.

    Once the civil rights movement provoked the cops into sicking dogs on peaceful protestors...once people saw the cops on TV turning fire-hoses on children for demanding a right to go to school--segregation was all but defeated.

    Of course anti-gun rights people want to provoke you into doing something they can use against you.

    That's the name of the game.

    What did you expect from counter-protestors? Reasoned debate?!

  • sarcasmic||

    "Of course anti-gun rights people want to provoke you into doing something they can use against you."

    I understand that, but in this case "doing something they can use against you" could mean getting shot in the head.

    They're willing to die in order to outlaw the right to self defense?

    That's messed up.

  • ||

    You're talking about zealots on both sides.

    It's like the abortion issue. Most of us fall in the middle somewhere? But the people I've seen who cared enough to protest--on both sides?

    Both sides look a little psychologically unstable to me--the ones who protest and the ones who counter-protest.

    I don't care if it's the guy with the big sign showing a hacked up late term abortion or a radical feminist screaming about how men have taken over the world...

    We're talking about the extremists on both sides getting together face to face--of course we're gonna see some extreme stuff.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm talking about someone intentionally trying to provoke someone into killing them to prove the point that an unarmed person is at a disadvantage to someone who is armed.

    That's messed up.

  • Really?||

    I like the call for smaller government but even local government should not get to decide who carries concealed. Carrying a weapon should be an inviolable right.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Carrying a weapon should be an inviolable right."

    Under rule of law it is.
    Rule of law meaning that legislation answers to a higher law like the constitution.

    Rule of man means that any legislation is considered law, even if it is in plain violation of the supreme law.

    We have rule of man, not rule of law.

  • cynical||

    That doesn't mean that concealing it is.

  • ||

    "I like the call for smaller government but even local government should not get to decide who carries concealed. Carrying a weapon should be an inviolable right."

    I don't know how many goddamn times I have to say the same goddamn thing in the same goddamn thread?

    But I'm not questioning whether you have a right to carry a gun.

    The question is whether they can require you to carry it concealed.

    Being required to carry concealed--rather than open carry--is not an infringement on your right to carry.

    They can let you open carry.
    They can let you carry concealed.

    They can't stop you from carrying.

    Does anybody else have any confusion about this at all? Because I can't make it any clearer.

    The question isn't whether you have the right to carry; the question is whether when you carry, do you have to carry concealed?

    If they anti-gun rights people don't like that--they should STFU about trying to prohibit open carry.

  • ||

    "I like the call for smaller government but even local government should not get to decide who carries concealed. Carrying a weapon should be an inviolable right."

    Insisting that you bear your arms concealed doesn't infringe on your right to bear arms any more than insisting you drive on the correct side of the freeway infringes on your right to drive a car.

  • prolefeed||

    Why should Bakersfield, which like I said, is redder than most red states, have the same rules as Los Angeles? Those places have totally different cultures.

    Because having ANY of those rules unconstitutionally abridges the right to own and carry weapons, SCOTUS rulings be damned. Do people get to abridge my right to free speech depending on the "culture" of the place I utter it?

  • OO||

    fortunately SCOTUS prevails

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently you didn't get the memo.
    The First Amendment gives Congress the power to make laws regarding speech.
    I know that's not what the words actually say, but that's how the men in black robes have determined them to mean.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Do people get to abridge my right to free speech depending on the "culture" of the place I utter it?

    Um... yes? Have you ever read the SCOTUS rulings regarding obscenity laws? Whether something is truly obscene, such that it constituionally can be made illegal, is based on local community standards, because what is considered unacceptably vulgar in NYC is not the same as what would be considered such in, say, Amana Colonies, Iowa.

  • prolefeed||

    The First Amendment doesn't mean whatever the hell 5+ SCOTUS justices say it means.

    Obscenity laws are unconstitutional. You have the right to be as vulgar as you want, anywhere you want. You might get evicted from private property by the owner, but you shouldn't be arrested for spewing profanity as you are dragged outside by the bouncers.

  • sarcasmic||

    "The First Amendment doesn't mean whatever the hell 5+ SCOTUS justices say it means."

    While I agree with you in principle, as a practical matter the law means whatever those judges says it means.

    If they say "Congress shall make no law" means "Congress shall restrict, license and ban as it sees fit", then that is what it means.

  • ||

    "Because having ANY of those rules unconstitutionally abridges the right to own and carry weapons, SCOTUS rulings be damned. Do people get to abridge my right to free speech depending on the "culture" of the place I utter it?"

    You have a right to own a gun and use it responsibly.

    Whether you have a right to carry it out in the open is another question entirely.

    If they won't allow you to get a concealed carry permit, then you should have the right to open carry.

    If one of the wealthiest communities in America with the lowest violent crime rate in the country (Irvine) wants to let people open carry, that's Irvine's business.

    If hundreds of gang members 30 miles away in a place where almost everyone is at least affiliated with a gang (if not active), like is the case in Compton? That may effectively give the gang members the right to brandish and threaten--Irvine's concerns and Compton's concerns just aren't the same.

    People have a right to own a firearm and protect themselves--either way. Maybe in Compton, they require you to get a CC permit so people aren't so freaked out about seeing hundreds of gang members walking around carrying guns.

    Maybe in Irvine, which is one of the top three safest cities in America, if you want to walk around with a gun on your hip, hardly anybody gets concerned about it...

    Either way, the local Sheriff running on whether he's gonna issue concealed carry or not, isn't an imposition on your right to carry a firearm.

    That's what I'm getting out of this. The right to carry a firearm isn't the question; whether the locals want you to keep it out of sight when you carry is another question entirely.

    What this piece is suggesting is that if the anti-gun crusaders haven't figured it out yet, refusing to let people open carry is about to mean that California may have to go "shall issue" state wide.

    If the anti-gun crowd doesn't want that, and they'd rather let the local Sheriff's make the call on concealed carry permits, then they should STFU about prohibiting open carry or they're gonna end up being forced to "shall issue" state wide.

  • JD||

    Why should Bakersfield, which like I said, is redder than most red states, have the same rules as Los Angeles? Those places have totally different cultures.

    Yeah, it's not like infringing the right to keep and bear arms is unconstitutional or anything.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    To my knowledge, it has never been the case that "the right" to keep and bear arms was understood as being an inviolate, absolute and unfettered right for any person to carry a sidearm anywhere, everywhere and anytime he felt like it.

    Point being that yes, the 2A protects a "right" of the individual to "keep and bear" arms - the question though, is what exactly is that "right", and what limitations on carrying a gun constitute an "infringement" of that "right."

    It's a debate without end. One person's "reasonable restriction" is another person's "unconstitutional infringement."

    I don't think any right expressly protected by the Constitution has ever been understood to be absolute. A person can argue until he's blue in the face about the plain words "shall not be infringed," but that really doesn't answer the question, does it? Else it would have been answered long ago, it seems to me.

  • prolefeed||

    To my knowledge, it has never been the case that "the right" to keep and bear arms was understood as being an inviolate, absolute and unfettered right for any person to carry a sidearm anywhere, everywhere and anytime he felt like it

    Understood by who? SCOTUS? Your use of "never" needs some modifiers.

    Again, you might be evicted from private property for having firearms on you, but you shouldn't be arrested for that, just escorted off the premises by the bouncers.

    You have the unfettered right to carry whatever weapons you want, anytime you want. You don't have the unfettered right to be carrying on someone else's property if they object to the weapons, but their recourse is not to disarm you, but to insist you leave.

  • ||

    "To my knowledge, it has never been the case that "the right" to keep and bear arms was understood as being an inviolate, absolute and unfettered right for any person to carry a sidearm anywhere, everywhere and anytime he felt like it."

    I think that every right is like that.

    The First Amendment doesn't protect fraud or perjury or the right to tell a bank teller you're gonna shoot her if she doesn't empty the cash register.

    Every freedom comes with inherent responsibilities. You have the right to free speech--that doesn't mean you're not responsible for what you say.

    Guns are like that too. You have a right to carry a gun--that doesn't necessarily mean you're not responsible for how you carry it.

  • ||

    "Yeah, it's not like infringing the right to keep and bear arms is unconstitutional or anything."

    But it's not like whether they give you a carry concealed permit or whether you can open carry is in any way infringing on the right to keep and bear arms either.

    Do you have the right to keep and bear arms?

    That's one question.

    Do you have the right to open carry?

    That's a different question. If they require you to conceal it, that doesn't mean you can't keep and bear arms.

    Do you have the right to walk around with it in your hand as you shop for groceries?

    If I say "no", that doesn't mean you don't have the right to keep and bear arms.

  • cynical||

    "Why should Bakersfield, which like I said, is redder than most red states, have the same rules as Los Angeles? Those places have totally different cultures."

    I dunno, why shouldn't the South get to have Jim Crow and let the North integrate if it wants to?

    When your rules and your culture are egregious (and the Constitution provides a decent guideline as to what constitutes "egregious"), they become other people's business.

  • ||

    The north isn't very integrated either, but keep up your anti Southern hate.

  • prolefeed||

    "In the South, a black can get as close as they want so long as they don't get too big. In the North, a black can get as big as they want so long as they don't get too close."

  • ||

    "I dunno, why shouldn't the South get to have Jim Crow and let the North integrate if it wants to?"

    Jim Crow, among other things, was about using the government to violate people's rights.

    I'm not talking about violating people's rights. You have a right to carry a gun. I'm not questioning that.

    How you carry affects other people differently in different places. There's no reason why a place where almost everybody is at least affiliated with a gang should go by the same rules as a place where no one is affiliated with a gang.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Oh, and Orange County, the Inland Empire, North San Diego County and Bakersfield are probably redder than Texas is statewide, so kiss my ass.

    A friend who grew up in Bakersfield likes to say "The Oildale bridge is the longest in the world: it connects the central valley with Oklahoma."

  • ||

    Even LA liberal culture is different from and competitive with San Francisco liberal culture...

    California is a monolithic idea that everyone loves to hate--it's just that the reality is very different and not monolithic.

    It's still the land that elected Nixon and Reagan. ...and that was during and after it was getting its reputation as the liberal boogeyman.

  • ||

    The state is broke, and so the solons of Sacramento pass a law banning open carry? Brilliant!

  • free2booze||

    Carry permits aren't free. I'm sure the state will charge $200 a head, for the privileged to carry concealed.

    I have a carry permit for my state, which allows me to carry open or concealed. For some reason, I was never comfortable with open carry. Having a gun strapped to your hip makes you a target. Who's the first person the bad guys will try to take out? The one with the gun.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Having a gun strapped to your hip makes you a target. Who's the first person the bad guys will try to take out? The one with the gun.

    More likely,you will be the first one passed over - I mean why pick on someone who is armed when the unarmed are about. The rare case where someone is intent on killing random strangers is not likely enough that it should negate the safety advantage of open carry.

  • ||

    ". . . the state will probably have to loosen the standards for people to have permits to carry concealed weapons." Oh the horror! God forbid people should be able to protect themselves.

    A relative in California told me a permit is required to carry OC spray! I agree, they are a bunch of pussies.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    As I recall, in NJ, you can't carry pepper spray or a stun gun. They really and truly want the citizenry to be totally defenseless up there. Forget about getting a concealed carry permit for a gun.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Because I'm not a gun-owner (Not that I'm advertising!), I've also been a little confused about the concealed carry debate.

    Do gun-owners desire the ability to conceal their weapon, and, if so, why? Or, is it a purely principled argument about the ability to carry your gun however you like?

    As a libertarian, both arguments are fine with me, but the first one raises the question of why you'd prefer NOT to advertise the fact that you're packing heat.

  • ||

    I prefer to carry concealed. First, the hysteria that open carry seems to cause among the masses. And second, as a paranoid, I assume open carry would make me the first target of someone intent on doing harm to others. That would certainly be MY strategy (first take out anyone who can stop me, then I can take my time with the rest of them. It only makes sense to deal with the threats in order of severity).

    CB

  • free2booze||

    Bingo. I don't want to advertise that I am carrying. Part of this is out of respect to those I'm sharing public space with, and yes, I also don't want to be painted as a target.

    From my perspective, if someone is intent on committing a crime, they may perceive me to be an obstacle. This will either deter a person from committing the crime, or make them feel like they need to remove the obstacle.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Another potential issue with openly carrying is some person trying to get cute and grabbing your gun when your not looking his way.

    That's a concern for me. I could see some idiot who thinks he's funny - or some nut or opportunistic criminal - coming up from behind, outside my peripheral vision, and trying to make a grab for the gun.

    I occasionally carry - not too often - but when I do, it's concealed.

  • ||

    I occasionally carry - not too often - but when I do, it's concealed.

    Most Interesting Gun-Owner In The World?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Stay armed, my friend.

  • R||

    That's what a retention holster and training is for.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Let me add something to be my first question:

    Is the whole distinction between "open-carry" and "concealed-carry" the dumbest weapons control ever enacted, or does that title still belong to the switch-blade hysteria of the 1950s?

  • JD||

    Yeah, it's pretty dumb. It's also one of the the oldest forms of gun control. Laws regulating how arms are to be carried predate the United States, although then they usually required open carry (only a man who has something to hide conceals his arms).

    There are a lot of laws that compete for the dumbest gun control measure. I think the ones I would consider to make the least sense are those that prohibit putting stocks on a handgun (ie making it less concealable).

  • T||

    The suppressor restrictions always strike me as just absolutely retarded.

  • JD||

    I'd like to see a challenge to those laws from a health and safety standpoint (government forcing you to expose yourself to damaging levels of noise).

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    And a suppressor (a/k/a "silencer") actually doesn't "silence" the gun as much as the movies would have you believe.

  • ||

    Ive always thought the Gun Control Act of '68 was really absurd. It assigns "points" to imported handguns for things like target stocks, finger grooves in the grip, target sights, barrel length, etc. A certain number of "points" have to be accumulated if the gun is imported. None of it applies to domestically produced handguns.

  • Coeus||

    You can get them in Texas, but you have to join a dealer's co-op, and the tax stamps alone are 200 a piece.

  • Kringa||

    The preference to carry concealed, in addition to not stirring up hysteria, is as a deterrent to crime. Criminals never know who might be carrying a gun and who might be able to successfully defend themselves.

  • cynical||

    Also, criminals would probably prefer to carry concealed, especially if their weapon was not legally obtained.

  • Just an Engineer||

    If they're criminals intent on breaking the law do you think they'd open carry just because the law says they're supposed to?

  • cynical||

    No, but it does mean that if we catch them with a concealed weapon, rather than trying figure to out and prove what crime they eventually intended to commit with it, we can simply consider the concealment itself a crime.

  • Brillant Idea||

    Or we can make walking down the sidewalk a crime and preemptively arrest everyone. That would be so much easier than trying to figure out what crime they eventually intended to commit.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Kringa -

    That is a ridiculous argument. Criminals are risk takers on the whole. They are not likely to restrain themselves based on a latent statistical probability that you have a concealed gun.

  • JD||

    Do gun-owners desire the ability to conceal their weapon, and, if so, why? Or, is it a purely principled argument about the ability to carry your gun however you like?

    Personally I want to be able to carry it however I want. My state prohibits carrying a handgun openly, even with a permit. Even though I'd still usually carry concealed if legal I'd like to have the option to open carry, whether to educate or just because it is nice to not have to worry about concealment.

  • free2booze||

    Or you want to carry a gun, that is just too damn big to carry concealed.

  • T||

    In Texas, you can open carry a rifle but not a pistol. Figure that one out.

  • JD||

    Yeah, it strikes me as odd that I could sling my AR15 and walk down the street without breaking any laws, but do the same with a handgun and I'm subject to arrest.

  • Coeus||

    Yeah, it strikes me as odd that I could sling my AR15 and walk down the street without breaking any laws, but do the same with a handgun and I'm subject to arrest.

    Don't kid yourself. You might not be breaking any laws, but you're damn sure still subject to arrest. Probably with a phony charge or two thrown in to boot (at least in any city).

  • JD||

    I can conceal a big handgun--I carried a full-sized Glock when I first got my permit. It's just a real pain, and I don't see why I should have to conceal when I'm out camping.

  • ||

    Most handguns can be concealed so that they are not visible to a casual observer. But someone who really knows what to look for can almost always tell if you are packing. There are telltale signs. Yes you can "dress around the gun" but it is already 90 degrees here today and being overdressed is one of those giveaways.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Do gun-owners desire the ability to conceal their weapon, and, if so, why?

    Different gun owners take different positions on that question. I've seen huge debates on gun forums about open vs. concealed carry - the merits and disadvantages of each.

    So I think the underlying premise of your question is flawed - i.e., that "gun owenrs" share a common preferred position on open versus concealed carry.

  • Just an Engineer||

    Many people (specifically California liberals in this case) can become extremely aggressive if they find out you behave in a way they find morally objectionable. I've had several crazy Cali chicks try to claw my eyes when they found out I hunt deer. I usually prefer to carry concealed to avoid those types of situations. As was mentioned a couple times in this thread anti-gun protestors sometimes like to try and provoke people they know are carrying, dumb as that may be.

  • fish||

    I've had several crazy Cali chicks try to claw my eyes when they found out I hunt deer.

    You might try shooting them. Just sayin.....

  • omg||

    You were dealing with a liberal without eyes and ears?

  • ||

    If you can't see them you can pretend guns, like rattlesnakes, don't exist.

  • sarcasmic||

    What about police officers who carry openly?

    Oh yeah, I forgot.

    Laws don't apply to those who enforce them.

  • Really?||

    I know. When officers arrest someone, they oughta be charged with kidnapping.

  • sarcasmic||

    Your stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

  • Really?||

    The feeling is mutual.

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently you are unaware of this so I will give you a bit of education.

    In places that allow open carry, the police do not need any special permit to carry a gun. Notice that an officer's weapon is visible? They are simply doing what any citizen is allowed to do under the law (though if a citizen actually does this they will no doubt be arrested for disturbing the peace or something like that just to prove that the law applies differently to different people).

    Now if open carry is banned, then that means that police are in violation of the law.

    And your comparison of arresting someone for violation of the law to kidnapping is just stupid. Like open carry, police do not need any special power to arrest people. Citizens have that power, and police are citizens. But, like open carry, in practice the law treats police differently.

  • prolefeed||

    Now if open carry is banned, then that means that police are in violation of the law.

    I'm 99% sure the law will specifically exempt police from the ban on open carry. Unless some staffer fucked up and no one caught the gaffe.

  • Meiczyslaw||

    No, it's California. They've made that exact mistake before (repeatedly) with previous gun laws.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Like open carry, police do not need any special power to arrest people. Citizens have that power, and police are citizens.

    For most arrests, this is incorrect. Generally, citizens' arrests must:
    1) Be a chargeable felony
    2) Must be actually witnessed by the citizen

    When the police arrest someone for a misdemeanor, in other words, that is generally a "special power", so your analogy fails.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    It fails even more because every no-carry law I'm aware of specifically and explicitly excludes law enforcement officers.

  • Coeus||

    It fails even more because every no-carry law I'm aware of specifically and explicitly excludes law enforcement officers.

    And politicians too, more often than not.

  • ||

    "Kidnapping" is too strong a word. I prefer "surprise adoption." It's a little more PC.

  • ||

    Do gun-owners desire the ability to conceal their weapon, and, if so, why?

    I feel no compulsion to lug the damn thing around with me all the time. I know people who do, and just about everybody carries in the back country. I sure as fuck would/will.

    Unfortunately, we have reached the point where the delicate sensibilities of the Gunz Iz Scaresome mob have made "out of sight, out of mind" the preferred option. I like the idea of "free" concealed carry because I don't like the idea of anybody getting tripped up by some stupid technicality when they pose no threat to anybody.

    Please remit $.02.

  • ||

    If open-carry is prohibited in CA, getting concealed carry will likely become 1000X more difficult.

    Try getting concealed carry in NJ. If you are neither law enforcement (current or ex), or work for an armored car service, it is nearly impossible. If I'd been raped at gun-point 18 times, maybe I might have a chance at convincing a judge I needed a concealed-carry permit to keep myself safe. But otherwise, no chance. If you can't carry openly, why would the state then allow you to carry concealed? I don't get it, but then I've never been to California. Might be nice to check out and then forever leave.

  • JD||

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled a few years back that, since the state constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, there could not be a ban on both open and concealed carry. Since Wisconsin is one of two states to completely ban concealed carry, open carry is legal.

    Now, neither the California nor New Jersey constitutions contain a right to bear arms. However, in the wake of last year's decision in McDonald v. Chicago, it is likely that federal courts will find that a complete state ban on carrying arms is unconstitutional.

  • ||

    If I'd been raped at gun-point 18 times, maybe I might have a chance at convincing a judge I needed a concealed-carry permit to keep myself safe.

    Wouldn't it just be simpler for the judge to order you to surrender your vagina? (yeah, all orifices, but i had to type out "surrender your vagina". try it, it's fun.)

  • sarcasmic||

    surrender your vagina

    surrender your vagina

    You're right! It is fun!

    surrender your vagina

    I'm going to say that to my wife when I get home.

    "Hey Hon, surrender your vagina!"

    *slap*

  • ||

    Standrd YMMV Disclaimer Applies

  • ||

    I don't know why anyone bothers with CCW permits. If you need to carry, carry and if you need to use it, use it. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. The Second Amendment is absolute.

  • Really?||

    Internet tuff gai is tuff.

  • prolefeed||

    Asserting one's rights is being a "tuff gai"?

    Stupid troll is stupid.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    I do not think that was the point. There is a time for civil disobedience, but eschewing a CCW permit, despite the serious repercussions for doing so, is probably not a wise "line in the sand".

  • JD||

    Depends on the penalty and on the state.

    I live in a state where any law-abiding citizen can get a permit to carry. If I lived in a state where getting a permit wasn't possible, I'd have to take the potential risks and benefits into account before deciding whether to carry.

    Since in my case there are a number of risks and no benefits to carrying without a permit, I got a permit so that I wouldn't have to worry about going to jail if I had to defend myself.

  • sarcasmic||

    "The Second Amendment is absolute."

    Uhhhh, no?

    The Second Amendment gives government the power to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms.
    I know that's not what the words actually say, but the men in black robes have determined that words mean what they want them to mean, not what they actually say.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    The Second Amendment is absolute.

    Cite, please.

    I'm about as pro-gun and pro-original understanding of the Constitution as you'll find. I own several guns and have a concealed carry permit and most of the time, you'd find my .45 in my truck with me.

    But your position that "the Second Amendment is absolute" is unsupported by any historical evidence. I've seen lots of guys espouse this view, but I've never understood the need to draw such a line.

  • Reading is hard||

    the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

    Shall not

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Shall not" and "will not" are not synonymous, especially in 18th century usage.

  • sarcasmic||

    In that usage "shall not" means "shall".

    The "not" is silent.

  • ||

    *"knot"

    The "k" silences the whole word.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Define what "the right" is to "keep and bear" arms, and define what restrictions would constitute an "infringement" upon that right.

    Yes, it's deceptively simple. The reality is that even the Framers who drafted that would not have agreed it constitutes an absolute license to carry any firearm you wanted anywhere you wanted any time you wanted, with no law against anything.

  • sarcasmic||

    I get it!

    If you define "the right to keep and bear arms" to mean "the right to keep certain arms and bear them in certain places", then define "certain arms" to mean "no arms" and "certain places" to mean "nowhere", then you can completely ban the carrying of any arms in any place without infringing upon "the right to keep and bear arms"!

    Cool!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yeah, right, because that's exactly what I said!

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm just trying to come at it from the point of view of a constitutional lawyer tasked with justifying a law that is in blatant violation of the constitution.

    That's their job, right?

    To figure out how to circumvent plain language using layer upon and layer of creative definitions that make the original wording meaningless.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Let me make it clear that I am anything but an anti-gunner. I am an Endowment Member of the NRA (which is the level above Life Member), and a long-time member of the Gun Owners of American and the Virginia Citizen's Defense League. I've had a concealed carry permit for years, and I own several handguns, long guns and shotguns, including an eeeeeevil "assault weapon".

    I simply recognize and acknowledge the fact that with great liberty comes great responsibility and that no right is "absolute."

  • Reading is hard||

    I see, shall not infringe means shall infringe some. Gotcha.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Evidently, for you, reasoning is hard.

    Example:

    The First Amendment, which so many people like to compare to the 2A, forbids law "abridging the freedom of the press."

    So does requiring a business license to operate a publishing business infringe on the freedom of the press?

    It also forbids laws abridging "the right of the people to peacably assemble." So does this mean states cannot constitutionally require a permit to have a demonstration, assembly or rally in the town square?

    The 1A also forbids laws "abridging the freedom of speech." So are laws against extortion, fraud, or false advertising - which, after all, is merely speech - unconstitutional?

  • Reason Commentor XYZ||

    Rage I think most intelligent people already know that the government violates the constitution on a daily basis we don't really need to list all of the possible cases. Really it just comes down to which violations are the citizens willingly to accept and which will they fight against. So while most people accept the ones you've listed, gun control is an issue many people have a really hard time letting go.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    gun control is an issue many people have a really hard time letting go.

    Absolutely, and I do too. It's pretty much my number one, hot-button, litmus test issue.

    I just find the absolutist argument put forth by some on the pro-gun side to be unconvincing and unproductive. What does it get you?

  • ||

    "So does requiring a business license to operate a publishing business infringe on the freedom of the press?"

    No... as long as the business license is free, and offered to anyone. Otherwise, yes.

    "does this mean states can (not edited for clarity) constitutionally require a permit to have a demonstration, assembly or rally in the town square?"

    Yes... states can require permits to have a demonstration, as long as the permit is free to anyone who asks. Otherwise, no.

    CB

  • Jim||

    The First Amendment, which so many people like to compare to the 2A, forbids law "abridging the freedom of the press."

    So does requiring a business license to operate a publishing business infringe on the freedom of the press?

    Yes it does. Next question.

    It also forbids laws abridging "the right of the people to peacably assemble." So does this mean states cannot constitutionally require a permit to have a demonstration, assembly or rally in the town square?

    Again, correct. These laws violate the right to assemble.

    The 1A also forbids laws "abridging the freedom of speech." So are laws against extortion, fraud, or false advertising - which, after all, is merely speech - unconstitutional?

    Trickier matter, because those examples are pretty much designed to cause harm to others, which is where your rights stop. Cases could be decided between the parties in civil court and proper compensation rendered if the offending speech was found to cause harm.

    No offense, but your argument seems to boil down to, "gov't violates the constitution all the time in a variety of fashions, so it must be OK to do so".

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Are laws against brandishing unconstitutional?

    Keep in mind brandishing is merely carrying a gun - it is displaying a gun in a threatening manner or with intent to intimidate another person.

    Isn't that just "bearing" a gun?

  • Just an Engineer||

    Brandishing a firearm at someone in a threatening manor violates their rights. In my opinion that should give them the legal recourse to put a stop to it however they are able.

  • ||

    Who better than local government to make that choice? That's what local government is for.

    Why should the State of California make the choice for everyone? Why should Irvine necessarily have the same choice imposed on them as Compton?

    Does that then create a nightmare patchwork of conflicting regulations likely to ensnare the honest? It's bad enough thinking about driving cross country and figuring out what rules there are from state to state. Is somebody who legally carries in El Centro going to wind up in the slammer when he gets out to San Diego?

  • ||

    That patchwork is a daily reality for me. I live in southern New Hampshire now, and am licensed in NH and Maine. But I often go to an urban area that is on the border with Massachusetts. You can't tell when you cross into Mass. So what is perfectly legal on one block becomes a serious crime a block to the south. So when I go there, I just don't carry.

  • JD||

    I've heard that getting a Mass. non-res permit is relatively simple since it is issued by the state police rather than the police of your town. It isn't cheap though--$100, and must be renewed annually.

  • ||

    When I got my Utah permit, the instructor told us that the reality is it is unlikely that they will issue a non-resident permit, unless, for example, you regularly travel in Mass with large sums of money, and even then they can deny you as not having good cause. AND, he pointed out that you do not renew the license annually..you RE-APPLY annually, i.e. you start all over. A Mass non-resident permit may be as mythical as the unicorn.

  • ||

    The majority of MA non-resident permits are restricted to target/hunting. Getting an unrestricted non-resident carry permit in MA is pretty much impossible. I live in Southern NH and have a NH resident permit as well as a PA non-resident permit but I won't bother to spend the money for MA. A neutered license is pretty much useless.

  • Playa Manhattan||

    A permit issued in a county of more than 200,000 people in CA is valid statewide... Not sure what the population of Imperial County is though,,,,

  • JD||

    I'm pretty sure a permit issued by any CA county is valid state-wide. However, you can only get a permit from your county of residence.

  • ||

    I will be driving cross country this summer, and I will probably just leave my pistols in a friend's gun safe until I get home, because I am more afraid of the police than I am of teh Criminul Elemintz.

  • sarcasmic||

    What's the difference?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Don't forget the federal interstate transportation preemption law, which allows you to carry a gun through any jurisdiction in the U.S., as long as it is secured in a container, unloaded, and not within your immediate reach, and as long as you're legal to possess it where you're going. If you stop and stay overnight in any particular place, you have to comply with that jurisdiction's requirements. But if you're just driving through and you meet the requirements for interstate transport, you are exempt from the local requirements - again, as long a you're simply passing through.

  • MNG||

    Just out of curiousity, what is the constitutional authority for such a federal law?

  • JD||

    Commerce Clause

  • MNG||

    b/c if the answer is the commerce clause then I have to call wtf on anyone who has been bitching about expansive readings of that clause but supports this. It would take a Democratic Solicitor General to argue that a law pre-empting state firearm provisions for travelors is one dealing with interstate commerce in the narrow sense advocated here.

  • MNG||

    "You see, without the firearm muggings of travelers will rise and that will make them go down hurting the interstate commerce in tourism and off-ramp eateries! If everyone did it the substantial effects taken in the aggregate would paralyze the interstate hunting market!"

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It's not a matter of purely intra-state activity affecting commerce in the aggregate. It is a rule directly applicable to commerce among the states. I hop in my car and drive across state lines and spend my money in that state - or drive through that state to get to another state where I'm going to spend my money - that activity, which I voluntarily have chosen to engage in - clearly constitutes "commerce" and it clearly is occurring among and between the states.

    That activity clearly is potentially subject to Congressional regulation.

    In contrast, my not buying a product is not even an activity, let alone commerce, and certainly is not "among the several states." If I do NOT buy something, there's no "commerce" that I'm engaging in for Congress to regulate.

  • MNG||

    So if you drive interstate with your gun and don't buy anything the federal pre-emption should not apply?

    Where's the commerce?

  • MNG||

    Under your narrow readings the feds should only be able to pre-empt state provisions when one is traveling interstate to engage in commerce in the firearm(s). Then it could protect it by knocking out any state provisions that would negatively impact how "regular" the commerce in the firearm(s) is.

  • sarcasmic||

    Anything crossing state lines is commerce.

    Migratory birds are regulated by the Commerce Clause.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yeah, because driving acros state lines, spending money in that state (e.g., tolls, hamburgers, gasoline, motels) hardly can be considered to be interstate commerce, right? I mean, really! What a crazy notion.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh yeah, and let's not forget that it's a law that reaffirms and helps protect against state infringement of an individual right expressly set forth in the Constitution.

    Other than that, your analogy to the Obamacare individual mandate is perfect!

  • MNG||

    I can see a Sec. 1983 case against a state prohibition that infringes on such a court recognized right, but you're going off the ranch there man.

  • MNG||

    So under your usual reading they can regulate the dealings involving the tolls, burgers and such, but wtf with the gun in the case in the car? That's muy tangential.

    Suddenly you're Seth Waxman!

  • MNG||

    Using your logic they can pass a regulation governing suitcases and air fresheners since that is in the car when you travel too.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Using your logic, they can regulate ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, regardless of whether it ever travels between states EVER, and can require individuals to engage in activity when they're not otherwise engaging in any activity other than existing as a human being physically present within the U.S.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    In other words, I've had this discussion with you before and I'm not fucking going over it again.

  • ||

    They can even require elitist pricks to attend tractor pulls.

  • Just an Engineer||

    If a person is afraid to travel without protection then a law prohibiting firearms would block all commerce they would otherwise participate in while traveling. Thus banning their guns would cause them to not buy hamburgers.

  • James C Bennett||

    This is the law that allows a gun manufacturer in one state to legally ship his wares by truck or train to customers in other states. It's all about interstate commerce. The fact that anyone else can ride on it to travell about the country with a gun without meticulously plotting your route to avoid blue states is just gravy.

  • MNG||

    There are good reasons for people who don’t like guns to prefer laws allowing open carry, so long as concealed carry is difficult. Few gun owners want to carry their guns openly, which often leads to confrontations with law enforcement, scares people away, or causes businesses to refuse to serve them. Allowing only open carry therefore enables marketplace incentives to discourage guns in public, without any Second Amendment problems.

    http://balkin.blogspot.com/201.....lemma.html

  • MNG||

    This is a fascinating idea regardless of whether I support it or not (fiendishly clever?). Allow open carry, virtually ban concealed carry (the latter has a long history and one could argue that property owners have the right to know if someone is carrying on their property) and let 'marketplace incentives' discourage most gun carrying in public. Fiendishly clever one has to admit, a liberaltarian wet dream...

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Ban concealed carry? How would you enforce that?

    I agree the property owner should be able to forbid guns on his property if he objects to them. He can put up signs alerting visitors or patrons that guns are not allowed on his property. And I can ignore them if my firearm is properly concealed.

    If a person truly is carrying "concealed" and doing it right, how would you know they're carrying a gun?

    When done right, you can't tell. Without metal detectors or proper pat-downs, it's an unenforceable prohibition.

    I know at least two law-abiding, tax-paying citizens; productive and contributing members of society, who have for years routinely carried a gun concealed - with no permit, as expressly required by VA law. One has done it for decades. He's never had a problem, ever. He's fortunately never needed to pull his gun out, but he's definitely carried it concealed all over the place, but never has bothered to get a permit.

    In Virginia, at least, if I enter a mall or store that has one of those stickers showing a gun in a circle with a line through it, or a sign saying "no firearms", and I simply ignore it, the most that can happen if the property owner discovers I'm carrying a gun is they can tell me to leave their property. If I refuse, I'm trespassing because I'm remaining on their property without their permission. But it's not a crime.

  • MNG||

    I think a lot of people would not ignore it, even though in theory you won't be detected there are possible after-the-fact penalties that I think would dissuade a lot of people from carrying concealed in a prohibited area.

  • free2booze||

    I would think that concealed carry would result in smaller caliber, lower capacity firearms, than with open carry.

    While their are some people who do it, trying to carry a large fire arm concealed, is no easy task, and tends to be very uncomfortable. This results in individuals carrying weapons with much less lethality, and ammunition capacity, than what could otherwise be carried openly.

  • T||

    I gotta call bullshit here. Yeah, carrying a Deagle concealed might be an issue. But a full size Glock or 1911, not so much. Most guys I know carry a full size Glock, and I carry a 5" 1911. So I'm on the low end of ammo capacity with 8+1, and they're mostly carrying around 17+1 or 15+1.

    Of course, size and build has something to do with this as well. But your average male shouldn't have an issue with a full-sized handgun.

  • mofo||

    T: I personally did not like carrying a full sized 1911, i found it to be quite bulky and difficult to conceal. My k-frame .357 isnt that much smaller, but i find it easier to conceal and wear.

  • T||

    Personal preference, I know, but lots o' people carry full sized pistols. I think you kind of prove my point. Changing from a 1911 to a .357 k-frame isn't much of a change in lethality, just in ammo capacity.

    In other news, I was rearranging my closet this weekend and came across a Rossi .38 snub nose that I had no idea I had. More bizarre, I have no idea where it came from. But hey, new gun!

  • ||

    Actually the exact opposite happened. Shall-issue CCW plus the ban on "high capacity" magazines prodded the manufacturers to start pouring money into new designs that were a) comfortably concealable, b) in a major caliber, c) capable of holding the full legal limit of 10+1 rounds of ammunition.

    Predictably, this led the VPC to write a pants-wetting policy paper warning everyone about the danger of "pocket rockets".

  • JD||

    I also have a theory that it also aided in the acceptance of .40S&W after the emergence of the "wonder-nines" in the 1980's.

    After all, if you're going to be limited in 10 rounds in your gun why not use a more powerful cartridge, especially if the two guns are the same size (as 9x19 and .40S&W guns usually are).

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Without the 1994 AWB 10-round restriction I don't think 1911s would have surged in popularity like they did.

  • JD||

    I think that the worry of confrontation with law enforcement over lawful open carry is the main discouraging factor. I see Second Amendment issues with that.

  • PantsFan||

    I live in an area where if a gun is even seen the entire street is shut down.
    Pray for Canada.

  • Charles Nichols||

    Concealed carry is not a protected constitutional right under Heller or McDonald; Open Carry is.

    Can the professor point to a US Supreme Court case where the court has found something which is not constitutional to be constitutional because a constitutional right is denied?

    I had to invent a term for this argument "inverse overbreadth" which is nonsensical.

    An otherwise constitutional law can be voided if it overreaches into protected constitutional conduct but AB 144, the California ban on Open Carry does not do that.

    AB 144 is a blanket prohibition on handguns openly carried in public in the state of California. It is a violation of the core right the US Supreme Court held in Heller.

    The professor also seems not to have read the Heller opinion very well. The decision did not limit the 2nd Amendment to ones home. The only limitation on carrying a weapon for the purpose of self-defense in public is in "sensitive" places such as schools and government buildings.

    The High Court said "such as" the home, not "only" the home.

    A five year old knows the difference between "such as" and "only."

    Why doesn't this law professor?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Can you point to the language in Heller or MacDonald that you propose expressly endorsed the notion that open carry is protected by the 2A?

  • ||

    some person trying to get cute and grabbing your gun when your not looking his way.

    Most of the people I know who carry, some of whom are competitive IPDA shooters, carry in a quick-draw rig on their hip, with the "mandatory" polar fleece vest hanging down over the gun (It's like a uniform, apparently.), which still makes it possible for somebody to tiptoe up behind you.

    If I were going to carry, I'd use a shoulder holster, for exactly that reason. I'll trade a second or two for added security.

  • ||

    That is one virtue of appendix carry or cross draw carry. Yes the gun is vulnerable to a gun-grab attempt by someone from the front. But it is virtually impervious to a grab attempt from the rear--something I would be more worried about.

  • T||

    carry in a quick-draw rig on their hip, with the "mandatory" polar fleece vest

    There's a reason that's sometimes referred to as the "shoot-me-first" vest. I just get dressed and use an IWB. I'm big enough and wear my clothes baggy enough that I just look like another dopey fat middle-aged guy.

  • CE||

    Unintended? If I did to the people of California what the California Assembly has, I wouldn't want the people to be armed either.

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