UPDATE: On February 8, 2019, the State of Hawaii's en banc petition in Young v. Hawaii was granted. The day before, the en banc petition by the State of California was denied. Therefore, my appeal is still dependent on the final decision in Young v. Hawaii. Oral argument is currently stayed pending a decision by SCOTUS in NYSRPA v. NYC. We will not know who the judges on the 11 member en banc panel are until after the stay is lifted. It is impossible to say when there will be an en banc decision in Young v. Hawaii. All that we know is the en banc decision in Young v. Hawaii will follow the decision by SCOTUS in NYSRPA v. NYC which will be issued prior to the end of the current term in June of 2020.
Help Charles Nichols and his Lawsuit to Overturn California’s Bans on Carrying Guns in Public
I’m Charles Nichols. I am now in my eighth year of litigation against the State of California in which I challenge its unconstitutional bans on carrying loaded and unloaded firearms in public.
This is your chance to help defend the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in California and throughout the 9th circuit court of appeals.
If my lawsuit must go to the US Supreme Court then the Supreme Court decision would apply nationwide.
I have been fighting California’s bans on carrying firearms in public since 2011. It has been a very long and very expensive fight. If you would like to support my fight against the State of California and its unconstitutional bans on carrying loaded and unloaded firearms then please do so here.
In 1967 California made it a crime to carry a loaded firearm outside of one’s home except while hunting or at shooting ranges. Under California law, we can “have” but not carry a loaded firearm on our private property or place of business but we can only carry a loaded firearm in public for the brief interval of time when we are in grave, immediate danger. Where that firearm is supposed to magically appear from, the defendants won't say.
The moment we step one inch outside the door to our home into even the curtilage of our home while carrying a loaded firearm then we are breaking the law.
If you live within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public or private school and you step off your property with a handgun that isn’t unloaded and in a fully enclosed locked container then you are breaking a law for which a conviction results in your losing your right to possess any firearm for ten years.
Why My Lawsuit is So Very Important
The reason my lawsuit is so important is because there will not be another one after I am gone.
As difficult as it is to believe, I am the first and only person to challenge the Constitutionality of California’s 1967 ban on carrying loaded firearms outside of our homes.
Likewise, I am the first and only person to challenge California’s bans on openly carrying unloaded firearms outside the home which went into effect on January 1, 2012/2013.
This is the last chance we have to vindicate the right to keep and bear arms in public.
Although I am not an attorney I did study law in college but decided to become an engineer instead. I remember one of my law professors telling us that the only thing better than having 100 years of court cases in your favor is having a recent court decision reaffirming those 100 years of prior precedents.
For the better part of a decade, I have watched in bewilderment while the attorneys for the various so-called gun-rights groups have lost one concealed carry case after another. For nearly two hundred years American courts have held that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Constitution and that concealed carry can be banned.
Instead of following the lead of the proponents of same-sex marriage who sought to expand the definition of marriage, the “gun-rights” attorneys went into court arguing that states can, should and must ban Open Carry in favor of concealed carry.
If the lawyers who argued in favor of same-sex marriage had gone into court arguing that states can, should and must ban heterosexual marriage in favor of same-sex marriage then they would have lost every case.
Which is why the concealed carry lawsuits which argued that states can ban Open Carry in favor of concealed carry lost every time.
I cannot promise you anything other than with your help I can continue the fight and take my case all the way to the US Supreme Court if need be. Your reward will be the same as mine, a vindication of our Second Amendment right.
Here we are more than fifty years later and I am the first and only person who has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn that 1967 ban. I filed my lawsuit in Federal court in 2011. After California banned the Open Carry of unloaded handguns in 2012 and banned the Open Carry of unloaded long guns in 2013 I amended my lawsuit to challenge those bans as well. I am also the first and only person to challenge those bans.
I also challenge California’s prohibition on issuing licensesto openly carry loaded handguns in counties with a population of 200,000 or more people and limiting the validity of those licenses to the county of issuance and, you guessed it, I am the first and only person to challenge that ban as well.
My challenge against the licensing law is that the government cannot require a license to exercise a fundamental, enumerated right but once the government provides for such a license, the government cannot limit those licenses to people who reside in a county of fewer than 200,000 people, nor can the government decide what constitutes "good cause" for being issued a license.
In 2014, District Court Judge Samuel James Otero held that firearms are no different than illegal drugs, specifically crystal meth, and issued a final judgment in favor of the State of California.
I filed a timely appeal.
The briefs in my appeal have been filed on both sides. Oral argument took place in my appeal on February 15, 2018. Because a related case out of Hawaii was heard three days before mine, we now have to wait for a decision in that case before there is a decision in mine. After the 9th circuit court of appeals voted to rehear the Young v. Hawaii appeal before an en banc panel of 11 judges, the Court stayed Young v. Hawaii pending a decision by the US Supreme Court in NYSRPA v. NYC. That case could be heard as early as October, 2019.
I am not an attorney. There is no payday waiting for me at the end of my lawsuit. There will not be a million dollar check from the state awarding me legal fees and costs. At best, I will get back my filing fees and partial reimbursement for some copying costs. At worst, I will lose and the court will award legal fees to the State of California.
Please support me in my fight to restore the Second Amendment to California by donating here.