Great news from California!

As the Washington Post reports,

A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California’s concealed-weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

By a vote of 2 to 1, the three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said California was wrong to require applicants to show good cause to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Outstanding. I was born and raised in California and the restrictive gun laws there always chafed a bit (though I later moved to Arizona, where things were better). Although the gun laws in CA have ratcheted ever-more-restrictive over the years (“assault weapons” ban, .50 BMG ban, etc.) it’s nice to see a combo-breaker in the form of this case.

Honestly, this decision (and the recent one out of Illinois that struck down the prohibition on carry) is something I did not expect: I’ve been so used to states like California having increasingly restrictive gun laws, even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, that I more or less gave up hope for those states. I am pleasantly surprised and, to paraphrase Sebastian, I hope this is a step in bringing certain states back to America.

I will also join in with everyone else congratulating Clayton Cramer for having two of his law review articles cited by the court.

Although court decisions like this one are baby steps, they’re steps in the right direction and lay down a good legal precedent for the future.

Update 1: Bob Owens has some choice quotes from the decision here.

Naturally, the Brady Campaign is not happy. They statement claims that, “Neither history or precedent supports this aberrant, split decision that concocts a dangerous right of people to carry hidden handguns in public places to people whom law enforcement has determined that they have no good cause or qualifications to do so.”, which is somewhat strange since the court has, in support of its decision, cited numerous historical and legal precedents. Do the Brady’s offer any sort of citations to legal precedent, court decisions, or historical claims in support of their position? No, they go straight to emotional arguments: “The parents of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, whose children were killed by licensed concealed-carry holders, could educate the Court about the real dangers posed by this legal error.” That’s pretty weaksauce, even for the Brady’s.

Detroit police chief reiterates pro-CCW stance

From The Detroit News:

Police Chief James Craig responded Thursday to a citizen who criticized his pro-gun stance by reiterating his opinion that “good citizens” who legally carry firearms could help deter violent crime.

[...]

Craig stressed that he doesn’t support vigilantism.

“This is not often talked about: responsibility,” he said. “I do not condone vigilantism. I don’t support individuals arming themselves and doing the work of police officers. Police officers are trained to enforce the law. I think you put people at risk when you have people that are out playing police. I do see that a concealed weapon is an opportunity for self-protection only; not to go out and enforce the law.”

After Thursday’s meeting, Police Commissioner Lisa Carter and her husband, Tyrone Carter — both former police officers — said they agreed with Craig.

“There are a lot of seniors in Detroit who are victims,” Tyrone Carter said. “It’s not vigilantism for people to protect themselves.”

Added Lisa Carter: “That’s all we’re talking about: The right for people to be able to protect themselves.”

Excellent.

How to do Rifle Open Carry Right

The New York Times reports on a rifle open carry event in San Antonio, Texas.

As I’ve said before, I’m not so keen on rifle open carry, but this seemed to be pretty reasonable: it was an organized, coordinated event (not just random guys showing up at a coffee shop), they’re using rifle open carry as a means to an end (in Texas, open carry of a long gun is legal but open carry of a handgun is not — they’re looking to change the law regarding handguns), people are well-dressed, polite, and not being idiots.

Well done.

On Starbucks

This. Sebastian hits the nail on the head, as usual.

I get where Starbucks is coming from, but I think they handled this situation somewhat poorly. Some better wording (“display” vs. “bring”, as Sebastian puts it) would have made it clear that they weren’t so keen on being an unwilling focal point of the open carry debate while still allowing people to carry discretely in accordance with local laws.

The current wording alienates all law-abiding, peaceable gun owners who carry concealed and disturb nobody, not just those who were pushing the bounds of civility by openly carrying rifles into a coffee shop where such behavior is not customary. Change the wording slightly to ask people to not carry openly and there’d be significantly less controversy.

I don’t drink coffee so I pretty much have no reason to ever go to Starbucks, but if I did then I’d definitely have second thoughts about any future business there based on their handling of this situation.

US Diplomat in Pakistan shoots two, claims self-defense

From the BBC:

An American diplomat in the Pakistani city of Lahore has shot and killed a Pakistani motorcycle rider and his pillion passenger, police say.

They say that the consular official fired his pistol in self-defence. US embassy officials confirmed that an American was involved.

The men were pursuing the American in his car when the incident happened.

[...]

Weapons were recovered from the bodies of the dead men.

I’m sure that this is going to do wonders for US-Pakistan relations.

Even if the shooting turns out to be perfectly justifiable and legal, there’s going to be a lot of drama.

Inconsistent

I’m a big fan of BJ’s Brewhouse, a restaurant chain with tasty food and delicious beer1.

There’s now two in Tucson. The first one, which is on the north side of town, used to have a “gun busters” (warning: PDF) sign, but after some polite prodding by the citizenry, they took it down — permit-holders are not forbidden from carrying there, so long as they don’t drink. There’s been no incidents of violence, gun-related or not, at the restaurant that I’m aware of.

However, the newly-built BJ’s on Broadway has a “gun busters” sign. A polite letter asking the management to remove the sign, like the other restaurant, has been dispatched to the management. I urge others to do the same.

  1. Try their red. It’s outstanding. []

Training in Arizona

The Arizona Citizens Defense League emailed me to let me know that they’re participating in the Train Me AZ initiative.

With the Constitutional Carry legislation taking effect today, people in Arizona are no longer required to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm anywhere it is legal to open carry (a permit is still required to carry in certain places, like establishments that serve alcohol). Since getting a permit to carry a concealed firearm required that one undergo some sort of training and that such training is not required for permitless concealed carry, the Train Me AZ initiative was created to encourage people to seek out training prior to carrying firearms.

While I fully support the right for individuals to carry firearms without permits, I also strongly encourage people to seek out training to ensure that they’re well-versed in handing their firearm safely and in the complexities of applicable law.

Whether you carry openly or concealed, with or without a permit, take a training course (or many!) from a reputable, qualified instructor. Your life and future could literally depend on it.