Reason TV: Challenging CA open-carry ban

posted at 1:55 pm on March 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve covered the fight over the open-carry ban in California twice in the past seven months through the fine efforts of Reason TV to keep some focus on this infringement of rights in the Golden State. Today, Reason TV’s Tim Cavanaugh interviews Charles Nichols, who has filed the first and as-yet only challenge to the new law that bars the open carrying of unloaded firearms in the state.  Nichols explains why he believes the court will eventually overturn the ban — and why he might not get much help from other gun-rights groups:

“It’s unconstitutional to ban an entire class of weapons, one that the public find most useful for self-defense,” says Charles Nichols, president of California Right To Carry and the man behind the first lawsuit to challenge California’s open carry gun ban.

Nichols sat down with’s Tim Cavanaugh to discuss his lawsuit, which is actually targeting the original ban from the 1970s that prohibited the carrying of loaded weapons. They discussed his prospects for success, as well as California’s extremely strict gun control laws and how they might hold up in a post-DC v. Heller world.

For more details on this case, go here.

On the lighter side, we travel to the other side of the country for another arms ban … one that includes legs as well.  Our friend Steven Crowder reveals the New York ban on mixed-martial arts events. How did New York decide to ban MMA while continuing to allow boxing? Steven finds out that the real issue is a unionization fight … in Las Vegas:

In the end, this is less about the MMA than it is about how deeply union tentacles have grown in national and state politics. How does a culinary union dispute in Nevada have anything to do with a question of event licensing in New York, other than as a way to draft politicians into a private war against the casino owners?

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This is not going to turn out well.

CrazyGene on March 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Harrison Bergeron always comes to mind when I read about gun bans, or bans of any kind. Handicapper General Diana Moon Glampers comes to mind when I see this kind of stuff. I wonder when CA will insist everyone wear weighted bags around their necks?

Turtle317 on March 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Why would anybody openly carry an unloaded firearm?

OhEssYouCowboys on March 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

“…..when they pry my cold, dead fingers…..”

Bitter Clinger on March 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

This is one of those things where if you believe the law is unconstitutional, which it is by any reasonable reading of the 2nd Amendment, it takes considerable fortitude to begin he process of proving just that. First one must be arrested for open carry in CA, which will result in the loss of the firearm. At least for a while. Then the cost of litigation through the courts. Not an easy task, so, I intend to donate a little money to the cause.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on March 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

If the ObamuhCare mandate is ruled … constitutional … the State will next attack the Second Amendment, by and through the Commerce Clause.

It has already been shown that these Leftists have deemed the Commerce Clause as trumping the First Amendment – vis-a-vis the mandatory contraception diktat.

Next up, the Commerce Clause will trump the Second Amendment.

A storm is gathering.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

California, Illinois, and NY’s anti-gun laws are fundamentally unconstitutional. ‘

IL is now proposing

– A $2 tax on every box of ammunition. The ‘tax funds’ will go to a ‘trauma’ fund to pay for the hospital treatment of people who get shot.
– A state wide handgun registry where failure to register incurs a felony charge, as does failure to re-register every 5 years. There is a fee attached to this too.

“Shall not be infringed”?

CorporatePiggy on March 20, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I really liked Crowder’s video on MMA. Very accurate. But to be fair, there is one MAJOR omission. In 2008, the culinary union had endorsed Harry Reid. Unfortunately, so did Zuffa and many of their fighters.

JVelez on March 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

WTF? The Trayvon Martin case is exploding all over the news, Florida’s “stand your ground” law is being called into question for its role in the death of an unarmed kid, and this relatively obscure California open-carry ban is Hot Air’s gun-law post of the day?

Drew Lowell on March 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Correction: 2010.

JVelez on March 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

They think they want the fight.
They don’t.

garnkikaloid on March 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I think New York is becoming another country!

KOOLAID2 on March 20, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Every time I walk into a coffee shop in CA my “right to not be disturbed” is violated by all the stinky liberals. I propose a statewide ban on liberals.

1984 in real life on March 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

The MMA fighter on the main page headline is Chael Sonnen, and if I had to fight him, I be looking for some gov’t intervention too.

He is a beast and I expect him to beat the Spider Anderson Silva when their rematch happens later this year.

DrW on March 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

It’s actually pretty much a non-event when you open carry. I normally don’t have a need to, but I had my 9mm in my truck when I stopped by a dealership thinking about trading-in. (Just came from my farm) I didn’t actually think it would get to appraising my old truck but it did and I said to the salesman that I’d needed a place to secure my weapon inside. He was a retired Hoke County Sheriffs Deputy and he said, “Just strap it on.” So, I walked around the dealership and conducted all of my business right up until driving off the lot in the new truck open carrying. A lot of folks tend to be very interested and asked about the model and capabilities and such.

And it shouldn’t be a big deal.

hawkdriver on March 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Love the stock gun footage. Its all at Clairemont Town Square, a place I’ve been more times than I can count.

netster007x on March 20, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I wonder if the gun guy stopped at the 99cent store while he was there to pick up some foreos.

netster007x on March 20, 2012 at 3:24 PM

This is from 05, whether its correct or not I don’t know, I do know that California is so screwed up that any suit against the insanity there should be supported.

NRA opposes pro-gun bills in Georgia

When members of the General Assembly decided to pass a bill to repeal Georgia’s 140 year old public gathering law on Thursday night, they were confused by the irony of the largest gun rights group in the nation opposing the reform.

SB 308 passed the General Assembly late on the last day of the session. The final version removed two provisions that had been in the bill earlier decriminalizing the carry of weapons by licensed persons in churches and on college campuses. Under the final version, these two locations will remain illegal for carry.

The surprise came when the nation’s largest and oldest gun rights lobby, the National Rifle Association, began lobbying against the bill. Earlier in the evening, the NRA had pushed legislators to add language expressly permitting the carry of weapons in airports. This language is already in a bill, SB 291, that the General Assembly passed earlier in the session. SB 291 is awaiting the Governor’s signature. The NRA informed legislators that voting in favor of SB 308 without the amendment would be a “scorecard issue,” meaning that the NRA would be using the vote against legislators in its ratings. In other words, legislators who voted to remove Georgia’s restrictive public gathering law would be punished in ratings from the NRA.

The proposed amendment was never added to SB 308. When the NRA was rebuffed on its proposed amendment, it then began lobbying aggressively against the bill. The local civil rights group GeorgiaCarry.Org was at the Capitol lobbying for SB 308 to pass.
During the Senate debate, Sen. Steve Thompson stood in the well and read from GeorgiaCarry.Org’s letter supporting SB 308. Calling GeorgiaCarry.Org’s statement that it was tracking the SB 308 vote a “threat,” Sen. Thompson reminded the Senators that they had “cover” to vote against the bill, since the NRA was not in favor. Nan Orrock also mentioned the NRA’s opposition. Even the bill’s author, Mitch Seabaugh, conceded that “the NRA . . . has issues with the legislation . . . I really am flummoxed . . .”

From Georgia Public Broadcasting,

The NRA was not in favor of the final bill.

NRA-ILA issued the following statement to an NRA member seeking an explanation.

Steve Thompson & Nan Orrock are anti-gun, D & F rated legislators. There statements are absolutely false. I would reconsider your sources.
Your third “source” is invalid, as Seabaugh never stated the NRA was against SB 308.

The problem with these statements are the multitude of witnesses at the Capitol that saw what the NRA was doing. Knowledge of NRA opposition to SB 308 on Thursday evening is not limited to two Senators with low NRA ratings.

A disappointed Chuck Turney resigned from the NRA this morning. A retired Marine now living in Georgia, Chuck was a top recruiter for the NRA, but seeing the group oppose a repeal of Georgia’s public gathering law caused him to rethink his dedication to the group he had loved for decades.

Speakup on March 20, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Drew Lowell on March 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Good point.

Still trying to find out more about this. Several people said this might be legal but as a cop it would cost you your badge…

CorporatePiggy on March 20, 2012 at 4:05 PM

My admittedly limited research into this last year when deciding which groups to support defending firearms rights, led me to not trust the NRA on the political front and thus I can’t join them. They seem good on training etc. in the sport but just the fiasco that was the Disclosure Act in 2010 shows they care only about their political power at the NRA.

oryguncon on March 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

They seem good on training etc. in the sport but just the fiasco that was the Disclosure Act in 2010 shows they care only about their political power at the NRA.

oryguncon on March 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

It is a single issue pressure group fighting for one thing only – gun rights. And if they have to give money to Harry Reid, they’ll do it to secure gun rights.

If you want ideological purity, as seems so popular on this site lately, they’re absolutely it. They will do pretty much anything to uphold the second amendment, including donating to selected Democrats.

CorporatePiggy on March 20, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford Act prohibiting the public carrying of loaded firearms.

Mike Morrissey on March 20, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Why would anybody openly carry an unloaded firearm?

OhEssYouCowboys on March 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Well, prior to the new ban on open carry, in CA where in the vast majority of the state it is nearly impossible to obtain a concealed carry license and where open carry of a loaded handgun is illegal, the ONLY legal way to have your sidearm with you for self-defense outside of your home was to carry it openly and unloaded. Certainly not ideal to have to draw and load to defend (which can be done pretty darn quickly with a little practice), but better to many than just leaving it at home.

deepdiver on March 20, 2012 at 5:35 PM

JVelez, I asked Dana White about going to a UNLV (i think thats the school) Rally for Harry Reid, along with some fighters, and he said it was a get out the vote thing for students, not sure what kind of donations they gave.

Dana and the Fertitas are open republicans, but they know how to play the game and who’s palms to grease, they know Reid is the most powerful guy in NV.

The union issue is being called out on major MMA shows and they’re letting people know that the sport, and massive tax revenue, is being held up by thugs in the union as well as uninformed politicians.

Rbastid on March 20, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Chael Sonnen talking about honesty in government is HIGH comedy.

I freely admit I’m a huge fan of his but he’s a renowned BS artist.

fusionaddict on March 21, 2012 at 6:11 AM