Ninth Circuit Goes Back to English Law in the Middle Ages, Says Pre-U.S. Law in Hawaii Allows State’s Open Carry Restrictions

Ninth Circuit Goes Back to English Law in the Middle Ages, Says Pre-U.S. Law in Hawaii Allows State’s Open Carry Restrictions

A federal court denied a challenge to Hawaii’s prohibition on the open carry of firearms in a lengthy and scholarly opinion released Wednesday — finding that Hawaiian law and practice both predate and supersede a broad application of the Second Amendment. “Hawai‘i law began limiting public carriage of dangerous weapons, including firearms, more than 150 years ago — nearly fifty years before it became a U.S. territory and more than a century before it became a state,” the opinion explains in language foreshadowing the method of inquiry and eventual ruling in favor of anti-gun regulation. Sitting en banc, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 7-4 against George Young , who was twice denied an open carry permit in 2011. The massive, 215-page opinion was authored by George W. Bush -appointed Circuit Judge Jay Bybee . Two dissents were authored by a collection of judges appointed by former presidents Ronald Reagan , Bush, and Donald Trump . The court spends nearly 50 pages discussing the time-honored regulation of weapons under the law. This section starts in Middle Age England and ends in the Post-Reconstruction United States. The thorough (and admittedly non-exhaustive) historical inquiry, necessarily long and time-consuming, begins by invoking “a series of orders to local sheriffs that prohibited ‘going armed’ without the king’s permission” which were promulgated by “King Edward I and his successor, King Edward II.” The final laws cited in this section are two explicit prohibitions on the public carrying of firearms which […]

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