Attorney General Becerra Files Amicus Brief in Support of Commonsense Gun Safety Laws in Young v. Hawaii

Thursday, June 4, 2020
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed an amicus brief defending Hawaii's commonsense laws concerning the public carry of firearms in Young v. Hawaii, a case the Ninth Circuit is considering en banc. The brief asks the Ninth Circuit to uphold the District Court's ruling in Hawaii's favor and uphold the state's laws governing the possession of firearms in public places under the Second Amendment. The Court's en banc consideration of the case follows an earlier decision in which a divided three-judge panel ruled against Hawaii. As referenced in the brief, California has similar public carry laws which are currently the subject of separate litigation. 

“Like Hawaii, California will defend its public carry restrictions and our right to implement commonsense gun safety laws,” said Attorney General Becerra. "Our nation's constitution reserves to the states the power to provide for the safety of its people, including responsible firearm safety policies. California takes that responsibility seriously. That's why we have some of the strongest gun safety laws in the country."

In the brief filed today, Attorney General Becerra argues that:

  • Public authorities may adopt commonsense regulations governing where and under which conditions individuals may carry firearms outside the home;
  • Hawaii's public carry laws are consistent with a centuries-long tradition of regulating firearms in public places; and
  • Hawaii’s public carry laws are consistent with the Second Amendment.

    Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting the public and upholding California’s commonsense gun safety laws. Last month, the Attorney General secured a stay of a district court preliminary injunction on Proposition 63, keeping ammunition background checks in effect while the case is on appeal. The Attorney General also sponsored legislation last year in California to strengthen firearm safety laws in the state and close firearms licensing loopholes. Earlier this year, Attorney General Becerra joined a multistate lawsuit to block the Trump Administration’s irresponsible efforts to loosen regulations governing blueprints for 3D-printed ghost guns. A video highlighting the California Department of Justice’s APPS work to protect public safety by keeping firearms out of the hands of individuals who are prohibited by law from possessing them is available here.

    A copy of the amicus brief can be found here. Oral arguments in Young v. Hawaii are currently scheduled for the week of September 21, 2020.

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