The Second Amendment Foundation today applauded the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco for ruling that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states and local governments.
The majority opinion was written by Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, with a concurring opinion from Judge Ronald M. Gould, who wrote, “The right to bear arms is a bulwark against external invasion…That we have a lawfully armed populace adds a measure of security for all of us and makes it less likely that a band of terrorists could make headway in an attack on any community before more professional forces arrived.”
Although the court found against the plaintiffs in the case of Nordyke v. King – Russell and Sallie Nordyke, operators of a gun show in Alameda County, CA – the court acknowledged that its earlier position that the Second Amendment protected only a collective right of states has been overruled by the Supreme Court’s 2008 historic ruling in District of Columbia v. Dick Anthony Heller. That was the case in which the high court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms.
“This is a great victory for advancement of the fundamental individual right of American citizens to own firearms,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “The Ninth Circuit panel has acknowledged that the Heller ruling abrogated its earlier position on the Second Amendment, and it further clarified that the Second Amendment is incorporated to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment through the due process clause.”
SAF attorney Alan Gura, who successfully argued the Heller case before the Supreme Court in March 2008, filed an amicus brief in the Nordyke case. The Nordykes sued when Alameda County banned gun shows at the county fairgrounds by making it illegal to bring or possess firearms or ammunition on county property.
“The Heller ruling in 2008 was the first critical step toward full restoration of the individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms to its rightful position as a cornerstone of the Bill of Rights,” Gottlieb observed. “This victory in the Ninth Circuit not only reinforces the Heller ruling, it expands upon it.”