The full U.S. 9th Circuit last week upheld an Alameda County, Ca., law barring gun stores within 500 feet of residential properties.
Writing for the majority in the 9-2 decision, Judge Marsha Berzon noted that there are numerous gun stores in the area at which to purchase firearms.
“In any event, gun buyers have no right to have a gun store in a particular location, at least as long as their access is not meaningfully constrained,” said Berzon.
The decision comes as yet another blow to Second Amendment rights from the 9th Circuit. The two dissenting judges, Carlos Bea and Richard Tallman, harshly criticized their colleagues for their continuing attacks on the right to keep and bear arms.
“The impact of this county ordinance on the fundamental rights enshrined in the Second Amendment cannot be viewed in a vacuum without considering gun restrictions in California as a whole,” said Tallman. “I fear today’s decision inflicts yet another wound on our precious constitutional right.”
“Our cases continue to slowly carve away the fundamental right to keep and bear arms,” he continued. “Today’s decision further lacerates the Second Amendment, deepens the wound, and resembles the Death by a Thousand Cuts.”
He isn’t wrong. The 9th Circuit has recently upheld a string of anti-gun laws in California.
- In 2014 the court upheld an ordinance requiring handguns inside the home to be stored in locked containers or disabled with a trigger lock when not being carried on the person.
- In 2016 the court held that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a concealed weapon in public where the sheriff’s policy required “good cause” to obtain permits to do so, and refused applicants who could offer no justification beyond claiming the need for self-defense.
- In 2016 upholding a 10-day waiting period for purchasers who already had a concealed-carry permit and already cleared a background check.
This week’s case was brought in 2012 by John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gara Gamaza who found it was impossible to lease a commercial location for a new gun store that was more than 500 feet away from a residential area.
While they were initially granted a variance from the 500-ft. rule and permitted to lease a location 446 feet away from a residential area, the Board of Supervisors reversed their decision after a local homeowners’ association that was “opposed to guns” objected.
The ordinance, in effect, bans the opening of new gun stores within an entire American county. While gun stores existed prior to the law, and these gun stores are permitted to remain open, it isn’t clear what will happen when these stores inevitably go out of business.
In fifty years, the Alameda residents may not have access to firearms within the county.