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If you keep an eye on the hashtags #gunsense or #guncontrol, you may have noticed that they exploded yesterday when the 9th Circuit Court handed down a decision that included the following:

“Because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public, any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry — including the requirement of ‘good cause,’ however defined — is necessary allowed by the Amendment.”

…a statement that made gun control advocates cry victory and shout to the rooftops that common sense had prevailed. It was even described by many as restricting the ability to carry guns in public, period. The response by pro-gun posters was similarly loud and passionate, with plenty of Molan Labe to pass around.

So did the Second Amendment just die? Well, not so much.

Once my own knee stopped jerking, I read a little, including the Heller decision which lead to a case I’d never heard of, State v. Chandler. Heller, for those who are unfamiliar, was a landmark case in which the idea that the 2nd Amendment extends to self defense and that handguns are “in common use” for the purpose, and as such are 2nd Amendment protected.

In Chandler, the question of Constitutional protection for concealed carry was questioned. In that case, the court decided that no, it was not Second Amendment protected and could be regulated by the states.

These two decisions relate to the case before the 9th Circuit to some degree, a case that calls into question the “demonstrating need” criteria that California uses to determine if one can get a concealed carry permit. The Court, as stated above, found that this was not an Unconstitutional restriction.

To sum up, there are three facts in question here:

  1. The right to carry weapons at all.
  2. The right to carry weapons concealed.
  3. Necessity as a restriction for concealed carry permits.

Heller affirmed that carrying firearms outside the home is protected. Chandler affirmed, referenced in Heller, affirmed the rights of states to place restrictions on concealed carry. This decision addresses only the third point.

Now whether this decision will stand is highly suspect. No one can argue this isn’t a serious restriction and that “need” seems to be in conflict with “right”. The 9th’s decisions, also, have a near 80% overturn rate. The longevity of this decision is likely to depend on the 2016 Presidential Election, who gets appointed to the vacant 9th seat in the Supreme Court of the United States, and their leanings.

It is also important to note that this rescinds no concealed carry permits in any state, only affirms that the strictures used by the states to determine who does and doesn’t get a permit are not in violation of the 2nd Amendment.

The bottom line? Don’t panic. This too may pass, and even if it doesn’t, it isn’t likely to be the end of he Second Amendment.

I can’t imagine, though, that this case will fail to draw scrutiny to open carry laws in every state, as the question does stand, if you can’t carry concealed or openly, how is the right to “bear” not “infringed”?