Case Information: Nichols v. Brown, No. 14-55873 (Ninth Circuit brief filed Feb. 24, 2017).
At Issue: This case involves a Second Amendment challenge to California’s open carry regulations. California’s commonsense policies generally prohibit the open carry of firearms in incorporated areas of the state, and restrict open carry in more populated parts of unincorporated areas. There are exceptions such as in emergencies where someone may need to briefly openly carry a gun for self-defense. This lawsuit, pending before the Ninth Circuit, asserts the extreme position that the Second Amendment particularly protects the right to openly carry in populated public areas, no matter the consequences for public safety.
The Law Center’s Brief: We filed an amicus brief arguing that California’s open carry laws do not implicate a Second Amendment-protected right, because they are consistent with longstanding public carry regulations dating back to the Founding and earlier. In the alternative, our brief argues that California’s laws satisfy intermediate scrutiny, because they are reasonably tailored to accomplish the state’s critical safety objectives. Those objectives include protecting police officers and the public from intimidation and harm, and conserving state law enforcement resources.