California has banned open carry for a long time. A challenge to that ban was filed which is Baird v Bonta. This case just scored a major victory at the 9th circuit.
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Hey everybody, how's it going? Welcome back to Copper Jacket TV. So it is exciting to finally be able to bring you some good news out of the state of California. We just had a major victory, and this is going to lead to some big changes that I don't think the California politicians are going to like very much.
California has banned open carry for quite a while now, and even when it was legal, it was so modified that it was just completely ineffective anyway. It had to be unloaded and separate from, it was just a big old pain. So there was a lawsuit that was filed. This lawsuit's been around for quite a while now, and it's challenging California's ban on open carry. Well, guess what? It looks like California is going to be getting open carry very, very soon. So let's talk about what just happened in the Ninth Circuit.
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Okay, so let's go and talk about what's going on here. This is extremely exciting. I know that not everybody's a huge fan of open carry, but in places like California where everything is limited, you've got to take whatever action you can to defend yourself. So in California, there's a case called Baird v. Banta, I believe it's pronounced "Baird" (b-a-i-r-d). Now, this case has been going around for a while now. They've been trying to get an injunction stopping enforcement of California's ban on open carry because they say that it's conduct that's protected by the Second Amendment and California is not allowed to ban it.
Obviously, they go for an injunction at the district court level. Now, just recently, the district court judge decided to deny their injunction, but in denying their injunction, he used the two-step approach, the interest-balancing approach that the Supreme Court in Bruin said you're not allowed to use anymore. So the plaintiffs decided that, well, they're going to appeal that denial for an injunction up to the Ninth Circuit, which has not been super friendly to the Second Amendment, and you just kind of never know what's going to happen once you get there.
Well, it turns out that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals absolutely smacked down the district court's order, actually calling it an abuse of discretion. So the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals basically told the district court that not only did you get it wrong, but you got it so wrong that it was blatantly abusive. I mean, I've never heard language like this from the Ninth Circuit before, and I want to read you guys some of it now, and that'll lead us into how we're getting open carry in California.
So let me just read you something real quick. Now, try and keep in mind that this is language from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the district court. You don't usually hear language like this from the Ninth Circuit. But it says here, "To The District Court, the panel reversed the District Court's denial of appellants' motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin enforcement of California Penal Code sections that impose criminal penalties for the unlicensed open carry of a handgun and remanded with instructions. The panel held that the district court abused its discretion by applying an incorrect legal standard to deny appellant's motion for a preliminary injunction. Instead of analyzing the first factor set forth in Winter v. Nat, whether appellants are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim, the district court erroneously determined that because the public interest and balance of harms disfavored the issuance of a preliminary injunction, it was not necessary to assess appellant's likelihood of success on the merits. Analysis of this first Winter factor is centrally important where a plaintiff alleges a violation of a constitutional right, including the individual's right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home under the Second Amendment. Pursuant to the NY Safe Act v. Bruin, a government may regulate the manner of that carry only if it demonstrates that the regulation is identical or closely analogous to a firearm regulation broadly in effect when the Second or 14th Amendment was ratified. The panel set forth three requirements to guide The District Court's preliminary injunction analysis on remand. The District Court's analysis of the first Winter factor must include consideration of whether the conduct that California's General open carry ban regulates is covered by the text of the Second Amendment. If it is, California bears the burden to identify a well-established and representative historical analog to its open carry ban that was enforced when the Second or 14th Amendment was ratified. Noting that it has been more than four years since the appellant's first moved for a preliminary injunction and more than 14 months since Bruin was decided, the panel directed The District Court to complete its preliminary injunction review expeditiously. If the district court determines that appellants showed that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim, the district court must account for the impact that determination has on the remaining winter factors when it analyzes each of them. This means recognizing that in this case involving a constitutional claim, a likelihood of success on the merits usually establishes irreparable harm and strongly tips the balance of equities and public interest in favor of granting the preliminary injunction. So we'll just skip to the bottom here where it says conclusion. We reverse the denial of a preliminary injunction if it results from an abuse of discretion, which is exactly what the court says happened here. Hereby declining to assess appellant's likelihood of success on the merits of their Second Amendment claim, the district court abused its discretion by failing to apply proper preliminary injunction standard for a case raising a constitutional challenge. We, therefore, reverse and remand, recognizing that the preliminary injunction proceedings in this case have been ongoing for more than four years. We instruct the district court to complete and re-complete its re-evaluation of the requested preliminary injunction and issue a decision expeditiously. Reversed and remanded."
So basically, what the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said to the district court is if you're looking at a preliminary injunction, you have to first determine whether or not the plaintiffs have a likelihood of winning on the merits. But the district court did not do that. What did they do? They looked at an interest balancing approach, that two-step approach, and decided that it would be more harmful if they granted the injunction than if they denied the injunction. And so they didn't even go on to the next step, which is to look at whether or not this case has a good chance of winning on the merits. And so they denied the injunction before they even got to that point. The Ninth Circuit said you can't do that, and you can't use the two-step approach. So you have to look at whether or not the conduct is protected by the Second Amendment. And then it's on the government's back to determine whether or not there is some type of historical analog that they can use to justify the laws as it stands today.
So what they do is they reverse the district court's order, saying that that order no longer exists anymore. So the denial of the injunction is gone, and we want you to take another look at this case using these three steps that we're going to give you right here. And we want you to basically take a look at it again because you got it wrong, you did it wrong, it's a do-over.
Now, what does that mean for you and what does that mean for California? Well, that means that we're looking at the best chance that we have ever seen to see an injunction against California's ban on open carry. So the district court's going to have to look at this again. The Ninth Circuit basically told the district court that, "Hey, you got it wrong by denying the injunction, and so the correct thing to do then would be to grant the injunction. And since we already know that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has looked at this in light of Bruin and in light of its impacts on the Second Amendment, even if this goes back up to the Ninth Circuit on appeal, we kind of have some insight now as to how the Ninth Circuit would rule on that appeal. So more than likely, we are going to see an injunction granted and probably upheld. That is going to basically stop enforcement of this open carry ban in California, meaning that open carry could be coming back very, very soon. And that is extremely exciting because that's probably some of the best news that we've heard in a long time, regardless of how you feel about that particular method or not. That's still a massive win, that's still huge. And again, it's showing us that in a post-Bruin world, we're seeing more Second Amendment cases be looked at in a different light by the Ninth Circuit. Again, the Ninth Circuit always used interest balancing in the past, they never sided with us, they always sided with the state. But now, this is two times in a row, one with Y and now with this, that we've seen them side with the Second Amendment again using that Bruin standard.
So this is very exciting. I'm going to follow this case as closely as possible and see what's going to happen here. But again, remember that the Ninth Circuit told the district court, "Look, this has been going on for too long. We need something done expeditiously here. We need something done very, very quickly because the plaintiffs have already been waiting for too long. We're talking about 14 months since Bruin, we're talking about four years since the injunction was asked for. So we're looking at over five years now that the plaintiffs have been looking for relief and haven't gotten it. So the district court needs to act fast on this. That means that we're going to be seeing something very soon. And again, if the order isn't what we like, it can still go back up to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where, again, they've shown that we have a good chance of at least stopping that law from being enforced at the time being, but more than likely having it overturned completely in the end.
So I wanted to share that with you. I thought it was huge news out of the state of California and finally some good news. So this is great. So we'll follow this case very closely. I'll bring you guys any updates as they happen. And I want to thank you all very much for watching. Please like, subscribe if you haven't already. And you guys have a great day.