FL Supreme Court Issues Major Ruling On The Second Amendment —Trump Supporters Livid
The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its conservative allies were left fuming after the Florida Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Second Amendment does not protect open carry of firearms in public, upholding the law prohibiting the practice.
The ruling is yet another legal setback in gun advocates’ recent struggle to persuade the courts to strike down a wide range of firearms restrictions as unconstitutional.
Court concluded that the Second Amendment cannot be read to bar states from regulating the manner in which firearms are kept and used.
As the court noted at the outset, virtually any adult who has no physical impairment or felony record can carry a gun in public in Florida. The weapon, however, must be concealed, and with a state issued permit.
As noted by Slate, Dale Lee Norman challenged this concealment requirement after getting arrested and charged for openly carrying a .38 caliber handgun while walking alongside U.S. Highway 1.
In the lawsuit, Norman argued that the Second Amendment protects the right to openly carry firearms. He insisted that the Supreme Court’s decisions in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, which created an individual right to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense, also grant him the right to walk around in public with his firearm in plain view.
In evaluating Norman’s claim, the court used the analysis deployed by virtually every federal circuit court to consider Second Amendment challenges. First, it asked whether the law “burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment based on a historical understanding of [its] scope,” or whether it falls into a “historically unprotected … category of prohibitions.”
The court found that the law did not fall into a historically unprotected category and instead implicated the “central component” of the Second Amendment—“the right to self-defense.”
Thursday’s decision is undoubtedly a major defeat for the NRA and its minion of gun rights activists. It arrives just weeks after a 4th Circuit decision holding that the Second Amendment does not protect assault weapons, and less than a year after the 9th Circuit found that there is no constitutional right to concealed carry, either.
Because the Supreme Court clearly has little appetite to expand on the case, these decisions will probably stand as the last word on the subject for now. And gun safety advocates can rest easy knowing that their legislative achievements are unlikely to be toppled by the judiciary.