In Nordyke v. King the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states and local governments. The ruling was written by Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain with a concurring opinion from Judge Ronald M. Gould. The suit was originally brought about in an attempt to stop Alameda County from passing an ordnance that prohibits firearm possession on county property in order to prohibit gun shows at the county fairgrounds. The decision references Heller v. DC by saying that it abrogated Hickman v. Block (1996) which declared the Second Amendment only a collective right and not an individual one. However, the courts decision says that the Heller v. DC ruling centered on the ability of individuals to defend themselves in their homes but the ordnance enacted by Alameda County did not directly impede or limit armed self-defense in the home and not all laws that make exercising a right more difficult are automatically an infringement of that right.
How is this important to us here in New York State? The ruling applies to the states in the Ninth Circuit’s district which are AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR and WA. Although New York is not in their district, this ruling can be cited in other circuits. Even if cited by another circuit, the decision is not binding.
This decision comes after a previous decision by the Fifth Circuit Court decision to uphold the individual right to bear arms. That district includes TX, LA and MS.
This is another positive step forward for individuals who wish to legally own firearms.