Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Right To Carry

In introducing a ban on the citizens’ right to openly carry an unloaded firearm (UOC), the Los Angeles City Council may have inadvertently invited a legal challenge to the city's restrictive concealed carry weapons (CCW) policy

By de Andréa

Folks, this really illustrates the lack of intellectual mentality of our esteemed political elite’s. And would you believe, most of them are lawyers. Or, is it just true to form that this may be just another case where a lawyer/politician will always attempt to find a way to usurp the law no matter how stupid it is.

On January 21, 2011, the President of the Los Angeles City Council, Eric Garcetti introduced a motion to prepare an ordinance that would ban the constitutional right to openly carry an unloaded firearm (UOC) in the City Of Angles. No… that’s not a misspelling of the word Angels, I’ll let you figure it out. (Council File 11-0109).

In doing so, the Council has unwittingly given Second Amendment advocates an avenue for forcing the City of L.A. to issue CCW permits to carry loaded concealed firearms. The City has been notoriously resistant to issuing any CCW permits.

California is a preemptive state, which means cities like Los Angeles lack the authority to regulate the carrying of firearms thereby preempting State law. The City might dispute that, but there are also First Amendment issues. Many people who carry unconcealed, unloaded weapons do so, as an expression of political protest, do to the fact that they are denied the right to carry a loaded firearm, as guaranteed under the Second Constitutional Amendment. So UOC is activity protected under the First Amendment as well as the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment the “…right of the people to keep and bear arms…” requires government to allow people to carry a firearm in public in some manner, for immediate self-defense – that is, either openly or concealed. The Government believes it can regulate and choose the manner of carry, but it cannot legally outlaw both forms of carry.

Most California law enforcement authorities who issue CCWs do withhold those permits unless “good cause” is established by the applicant. CCW issuing authorities have historically been allowed to exercise great discretion in deciding what constitutes “good cause.” In anti-self defense jurisdictions, they abuse that discretion to require an applicant to meet the almost impossible burden of documenting an immediate specific threat to the applicant to establish “good cause.” In doing so, cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have been able to impose their anti-American anti-gun anti-self-defense political philosophy on the issuance process, and issue few or no permits. But without UOC as an option, cities with restrictive CCW policies like Los Angeles are without any defense to a Second Amendment Constitutional challenge. Moreover they could be compelled to become a “Shall Issue” jurisdiction and be forced to issue a CCW permit to any applicant who simply cites “self-defense” as good cause, regardless of whether the applicant can document a specific threat. Oops!

Politically, the City is stepping on the toes of state legislators who are unhappy with Council President Garcetti sticking his nose into an issue state legislators want to present. State Assemblymen Anthony Portantino has introduced State Assembly Bill (AB) 144, which would amend state law to ban UOC in public places statewide. State legislators will also have to grapple with the State and Federal constitutional issues with such a law.

Perhaps as a way to dance around the controversy, the LA City Council may also be in the process of declaring support for AB 144, which may wind up being a substitute for the proposed local UOC ban (See Council File 11-0002-S4).

I can’t help but wonder just how much better off the citizens of the United States of America would be if our elected legislators would simply do their jobs of protecting the rights of the people instead of doing everything possible and in many cases to illegally destroy the foundation of this Free Nation.

I do believe that not only our elitist political legislators but the common citizen has lost sight of what the founders clearly understood about our fundamental human rights. And that is, as the Declaration of Independence clearly states that our rights do not come from the consent of the government, but were given by God as an inalienable right…and therefore cannot be infringed, changed, altered, or in anyway tampered with or modified without the consent of the giver.

The Declaration:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
Emphasis mine


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