Lawyers for Hawaii Gun Carry Lawsuit File Supreme Court Brief in New York Case
by David Codrea, Ammoland, May 14, 2019
“There is no question that the right to keep and bear arms extends outside the home,” attorneys Alan Beck and Stephen Stamboulieh argue in a friend of the court brief filed Tuesday in the Supreme Court. “To argue otherwise is to render the phrase ‘bear arms’ superfluous within the Second Amendment.”
The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, challenging restrictions on transporting licensed firearms outside the home. Beck and Stamboulieh represent George Young in his complaint against the State of Hawaii for denying him a carry permit.
Those unfamiliar with his case may wonder what it has to do with the New York action, and the answer to that is that the notoriously anti-gun Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals tied the two together. Per that court’s order in February:
“En banc proceedings are stayed and submission of this case for decision by the en banc court is deferred pending the issuance of an opinion by the United States Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, No. 18-280 and further order of this Court.”
That meant Young was once more forced into rights denial limbo with a case first docketed in 2012. Per the SCOTUS brief:
“Mr. Young has now been on appeal in the Ninth Circuit since December 24, 2012 (six years, four months and twenty days) and there is still no end in sight. Mr. Young will be seventy years old this year in September.”
“It is apparently just fine for him to be taken from his home country to fight in Vietnam with high powered weaponry but then to forbid him to carry a handgun outside his home for self-defense in Hawaii,” the brief continues. “Mr. Young served his country with honor only to return and be treated as a second-class citizen by Hawaii, and unable to fully exercise his Second Amendment rights.”
And Young is not alone. Per a footnote:
“As counsel for the County openly admitted at oral argument, not a single concealed carry license has ever been granted by the County.”
That holds true for concealed carry permits in all counties, and the handful of open carry permits for the entire state have been limited to security guards as an occupational “privilege.”
“Because of inaction, this Court has allowed the lower courts all the latitude they need to render the Second Amendment a paper tiger,” the brief charges, explaining to the High Court how that has allowed infringements via a fabricated “adequate alternatives” doctrine. “Nowhere in the Second Amendment does one read about an adequate alternative to protected ‘arms’, but the lower courts routinely read these additional qualifications into the right, and then state that there has been no substantial burden.”
That, of course, is wrong, and would not be tolerated by today’s legal establishment in cases of unenumerated, court-mandated “rights” such as abortion and homosexual marriage.
“The text, history and tradition of the Second Amendment, as well as Heller, strongly supports that the right to armed self-defense applies outside the home,” the brief continues. “The lower courts have misapplied Heller’s dangerous and unusual language … Instead, the lower courts have almost universally held that this phrase applies to bearable arms, and then by judicial fiat, the court finds them too deadly for private citizen ownership.
“The dangerous and unusual doctrine applies to the manner in which the right is exercised,” the brief elaborates. “
“The longstanding prohibition on the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ refers to types of conduct with weapons. A necessary element of this common law crime of affray, to which the “dangerous and unusual” prohibition refers, had always required that the arms be used or carried in such manner as to terrorize the population, rather than in the manner suitable for ordinary self-defense.”
“We hope our brief convinces the Supreme Court to use the New York transport case as a vehicle to hold that the Second Amendment right to armed self-defense extends outside the home,” Alan Beck tells AmmoLand Shooting Sports News. “If the Court does so this will force the Ninth Circuit to find that Hawaii's effective ban on handgun carry is unconstitutional.”