9th Circuit Court of Appeals makes another unconstitutional gun ruling
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals continued its long-time assault on the 2nd Amendment when it overturned a ruling from May that found an Alameda County law barring gun stores within 500 feet of residential properties was unreasonable.
The case, Teixeira v. County of Alameda County, stems from four years of efforts by three men to establish a gun shop in Alameda County’s San Leandro area. When John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gara Gamaza were unable to find any commercial property in the county that complied with the county’s onerous zoning laws, the men petitioned for a variance.
They were initially granted one and allowed to lease property 446 feet from residential area. But a homeowner’s group complained and the Board of Supervisors reversed their decision on the variance, prompting the men to take their case to the courts.
A District Court upheld the Board’s decision, but a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit overturned it in May, stating the county’s regulations were unconstitutional on 2nd Amendment grounds and that county officials should provide evidence showing, for instance, that gun stores increase crime to justify such regulations.
In his decision Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote:
“[T]he County has failed to justify the burden it has placed on the right of law-abiding citizens to purchase guns. The Second Amendment requires something more rigorous than the unsubstantiated assertions offered.”
In overturning the decision of the three-judge panel, the 9th Circuit ruled, “Upon the vote of a majority of nonrecused active judges, it is ordered that this case be reheard en banc (which means by entire panel).”
It also ruled that the three-judge panel’s decision could not be used as a precedent, indicating the full panel is likely to uphold the District Court’s ruling.
As a reminder, the 9th Circuit is the same appeals court that ruled in Richards v. Yolo County – a case that upheld Yolo County’s provision that applicants for concealed carry permits must provide “good cause” in order to receive them — that:
Compared to many of this country’s constitutional protections, the scope of rights under the Second Amendment is ambiguous and no doubt subject to change and evolution over time.