Help Charles Nichols Fight for 2A
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 licenses to 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.
Justice Scalia, who wrote the majority decision, said that Open Carry perfectly captures the meaning of what he termed "The Operative Clause" of the Second Amendment which is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
He also wrote that prohibitions on concealed carry do not infringe on the Second Amendment right. All nine justices agreed on that part of the Heller decision.
Two years later, the US Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago fully incorporated the Second Amendment and the Second Amendment right defined by Justice Scalia in the Heller decision against all states and local government via the 14th Amendment.
And yet here we are, 11 years later, and most judges still cannot find a right to bear arms in the Second Amendment.
No doubt do in great part to the lawyers for the so-called gun-rights groups telling the judges there isn't one.
We have two cert petitions (Mance & Pena) which made it past their first conference on April 12th and are still alive and being held, presumably forNYSRPA v. NYC which has already been granted cert.
The two cert petitions involving the public carry of handguns (Rogers, Grewal) have both survived their first conference. These past three or four years, SCOTUS has rarely granted a cert petition unless it has been considered in at least two conferences.
The first carry case (Rogers) was heard in private conference on May 23rd. Not only did it survive, but it is also being held, presumably for the Gould cert petition which had its first SCOTUS private conference last Thursday.
The next private SCOTUS conference is this Thursday. The results from that conference will be released the following Monday, June 17th.
Thursday, June 20th is the last conference day for this term. The results from that conference will be released on the last Monday of this month, June 24th.
There will likely be a miscellaneous Orders list released on Thursday, June 27th. If we don't know the fate of the cert petitions in Mance, Pena, Rogers, and Gould by then we likely won't know until the Justices return from their summer vacations.
Be patient and have hope. The Caetano cert petition was heard in ten conferences before the per curiam which reversed and remanded her case was published. The cert petition in District of Columbia v. Heller wasn't granted until after its third conference.
These four Second Amendment cert petitions mentioned above have survived longer than nearly every other Second Amendment cert petition which preceded them.
The judge also denied the attorney general's motion to dismiss my Amended Complaint and ordered her to file an Answer to my Complaint.
On appeal, the attorney general's office filed a letter conceding that I have standing to challenge California's Open Carry bans.
This is a significant procedural law victory as many, many lawsuits are dismissed without the court ever deciding the constitutional challenge.
Here is a short video segment from my oral argument in which the State of California argues that nobody ever carried arms in public in 1791 and therefore there is no right to bear arms in public.
Those of us who are of a certain age remember this kind of Orwellian double-talk coming out of the Soviet Union on a daily basis.
Now their kind controls the government of California.
I thank everyone who has contributed this year towards my California #OpenCarry lawsuit. This month has been a good month for donations. But at this time of year, I would rather that people spend their money on family and charities. After all, I will still be here next year unless I am hit by a bus and this is the time of year when charities are in greatest need because the funds they raise during the Christmas season help the poor long after the season has passed. I am partial to the Salvation Army for many reasons I won't go into but there is no shortage of charities for you to donate to. Merry Christmas!
ORAL ARGUMENT CALENDARED! 2018-02-15 9:00 am Courtroom 3, Richard H. Chambers US Court of Appeals, Pasadena Charles Nichols v. Edmund Brown, Jr. – Charles Nichols appeals pro se from the district court’s judgment on the pleadings in his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action challenging a set of California state laws regulating the open carry of firearms in public places. [2:11-cv-09916-SJO-SS] http://blog.californiarighttocarry.org/?page_id=6922
Today, the en banc petition in Wrenn/Baker v. District of Columbia was denied without dissent. On appeal, the State of California copied and pasted the Second Amendment argument made by DC. The Wrenn/Baker decision said that the Heller decision shields the right to Open Carry. It is too late for the State of California to change its legal argument in my Open Carry appeal. Oops!
I have sent each of you a private email thank you and invitation to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Some of the people here already subscribe. They can confirm that you will not be inundated with emails from me and that I will not share your email addresses with anyone. I thank all of you again.
I would like to thank all of you for donating with a special thanks to Jason Sarno who encouraged me to create this gofundme page and for his support these many years. Literally these many years. It was six years ago today that I announced I would be filing a Federal lawsuit to overturn California's 1967 Loaded Open Carry Ban which was subsequently amended to challenge the Unloaded Open Carry bans and statutory prohibitions on issuing handgun Open Carry licenses.
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 scheduled for March 25, 2019. We will not know who the judges on the 11 member en banc panel will be until March 18th. It is impossible to say when there will be an en banc decision in Young v. Hawaii. It could range anywhere from 3 or so months to a year, or more.
If what former Justice Stevens said in the New York Times is true about his persuading Justice Kennedy to add the "longstanding" prohibitions section of the Heller decision (section III) to Justice Scalia's draft opinion then Justice Kennedy's replacement by Justice Kavanaugh greatly improves the chances of SCOTUS granting a #2A cert petition. This might also explain why the Rothery v. Blanas CCW cert petition got a closer look by SCOTUS than one would have thought a case with so many "issues" would get. Former Justice Stevens interview also means it is now less likely that the en banc petition in Young v. Hawaii will be granted.
A reminder that the decision in Young v. Hawaii does not go into effect until the Mandate issues. The same is true in my California Open Carry appeal. California can, and will, continue to prosecute anyone who violates its Open Carry bans until I prevail on appeal and the Mandate issues in my appeal. That's just the way the system works.
Six years ago today, I staged my Long Gun Open Carry Protest in Redondo Beach, CA. The irony is if the powers that be in Redondo Beach had ignored my protest then today we would be waiting for the court of appeals to decide whether or not I have "standing" to challenge California's Open Carry bans instead of deciding whether or not the bans are Constitutional. Here is an article published by a local paper on that day. You may have to copy and then paste the link to your web browser. https://www.dailybreeze.com/2012/05/21/open-carry-activist-packs-heat-to-make-a-point-in-redondo-beach/
If the links are not clickable from this post then copy and paste them into your web browser. Video - Craig Huey - California Primary 2018 Voter Guide -> https://youtu.be/2H0cYe13MfI Online California Voter Guide (select your county) -> https://www.electionforum.org/california-june-2018-voter-recommendations/
It has been three months since oral argument took place in my California Open Carry appeal. Although there is no way to know for certain when a decision will be issued, I suspect that we will have a decision both in my appeal and the related appeal out of Hawaii before the end of this year.
Here is a brief excerpt from the oral argument which took place in my appeal 60 days ago. The state's attorney representing California Governor Brown and Attorney General Becerra argues that there is no right under the Second Amendment to carry arms in public because, according to him, nobody carried arms in public when the Second Amendment was adopted. Why? Because, according to him, the mere carriage of a firearm was a crime even though there were no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in the United States in 1791, when the Second Amendment was enacted. https://youtu.be/OSHApyBREIk
Not that I'm watching the clock or anything but it is just 12 days, 14 hours, 46 minutes and 52 seconds until Oral Argument! :-D
I was formally notified of the oral argument today. I have filed my acknowledgment of hearing. T minus 70 days. :-) http://blog.californiarighttocarry.org/?page_id=6922
This morning the US Supreme Court denied the Peruta v. California cert petition. This is very disappointing but not surprising. It also means that my California Open Carry appeal is up next as the three remaining concealed carry appeals are likely to be denied and only one of those three had priority over my appeal.