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America’s Future Files Brief Supporting Second Amendment Rights

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April 25, 2024, America’s Future filed an Amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit in Baird v Bonta, Dkt. No. 24-565. As noted at the outset of our brief, “[t]his case involves a challenge to California’s virtual ban on the open carrying of firearms in public.” Our brief supports Mark Baird, the original plaintiff/present appellant in his litigation against California, arguing that several of California’s statutes violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution as applied through the Fourteenth Amendment. Mr. Baird is seeking injunctive relief and we agree that injunctive relief is warranted, such that California should be enjoined from enforcing statutes that violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

For background purposes, from California statehood until 1967, public open carry of firearms had never been prohibited. In 1967, however, California did enact the Mulford Act, i.e. Cal. Penal Code §25850 to prohibit open carry of a loaded firearm in public. Subsequently, in 2013, California banned public carry of any handgun, even an unloaded handgun, through the enactment of Cal. Penal Code §26350.

In this case, at the trial court level, the federal district court denied Mr. Baird’s request for injunctive relief and further held that though he had standing, he had “brought this case against the wrong defendant.”

A Ninth Circuit panel reversed the trial court and remanded the case back down with instructions to “complete its reevaluation of the requested preliminary injunction and issue a decision expeditiously.

Following remand by the Ninth Circuit panel, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of California. Our brief explains how the trial court erred in its ruling.  

The district court’s opinion insisted that open carry licenses are available to residents of small counties and municipalities, despite the record demonstrating that there is no form for such application and no such licenses have ever been issued. Based on its misrepresentation of the record, the district court recast Appellant’s challenge in a manner that allowed it to manufacture out of whole cloth an issue relating to open carry licenses, while never ruling on the merits of Appellant’s challenge to the criminal statutes.

Keeping in mind that the SCOTUS landmark ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen 597 U.S 1 (2022) has altered the framework of Second Amendment judicial resolutions, this case seems ripe for adjudication in favor of Mr. Baird.

The landmark decision respects our Framers and our Constitutional Republic.  It stands for the notion that our God-given individual inalienable right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by overzealous government officials seeking to subjugate the citizens of this great nation, flexing political power over citizens they view as their subjects.

We urge the Ninth Circuit to promptly issue a final judgment in this case – one that is compatible with Bruen and the U.S. Constitution.  Consistent with the urging of America’s Future, the Ninth Circuit should reverse the district court’s summary judgment and find in full favor for Mr. Baird. California’s statutes, at issue, should be stricken as unconstitutional.

Editor’s Note: To read all of our Amicus briefs, please visit our Law & Policy page.

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