Today, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief filed in support of the challenge by appellants to portions of the county code of Alameda County, California. The challenged provisions ban possession of firearms on county property.
The ordinance was introduced by a county Supervisor who, in her own words, wanted to “ban gun shows.” The county claims it was responding to gun violence, but the reality is that the county was simply trying to keep peaceful gun owners from gathering to buy and sell firearms.
Our brief argues that the Second Amendment implicitly protects a private property right to acquire, possess, use and dispose of firearms. Thus, the Second Amendment protects unimpaired commerce in firearms of the kind that takes place at gun shows. California law already heavily regulates firearms, and gun shows are one of the only constitutionally-protected sources of arms.
The brief then explains the difference between “sensitive places” like courthouses and schools, compared to places like the county fairgrounds. Whereas a courthouse is not open to the public for public use, Alameda County has designated the fairgrounds to be open to the public, including for use in lawful commercial enterprise. Since the County has given everyone a right to use the fairgrounds, the County Commissioners cannot now decide that they do not like gun owners, and prohibit them from using the fairgrounds for gun shows.
Our amicus brief in Nordyke v. King, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 07-15763, was filed on behalf of:
Gun Owners of California, Inc.
Gun Owners of America, Inc.
Gun Owners Foundation.