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NINTH CIRCUIT UPDATE

Nationalfirearmslaw.com

In our January 8, 2019 blog post “Look Out Below”, we discussed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel decision in Young v. Hawaii, 896 F.3d 1044 (9th Cir. 2018).  In that case, a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit reversed a Hawaii good reason permitting scheme that effectively prohibited the average citizen from openly carrying firearms outside the home.  The State of Hawaii petitioned the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the panel’s decision, and, not surprisingly, on February 8, 2019, the Ninth Circuit granted Hawaii’s petition for the full court to re-hear the case (known as en banc review).  In view of the Ninth Circuit’s strongly anti-gun history, we expect the en banc court of appeals to side with Hawaii.  If it does so, it will vacate the three-judge panel’s decision (which protected open carry in Hawaii on Second Amendment grounds) and reinstate the Hawaii trial court’s decision, which effectively banned open carry.  

To some extent this is now a tempest in the Ninth Circuit’s teapot, because we expect the Supreme Court to decide, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, No. 18-280 (hereinafter “NYSRPA”), that good reason permitting schemes like the ones in New York and Hawaii are unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court granted certiorari in NYSRPA on January 22, 2019, and that case is expected to be argued before the Supreme Court in the fall.  Take a look at our January 8 and February 7, 2019 blog posts “Look Out Below” and “Supreme Court Update” for an in-depth analysis of the public carry issues raised in Young and NYSRPA.

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Stephen L. Sulzer
administrator
Mr. Sulzer has been practicing law in Washington, D.C., for more than 39 years, and has been a partner at some of the city’s most prominent national law firms, including Steptoe & Johnson and, most recently, California-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. In fall 2013, Mr. Sulzer broke away from Big Law to found his own law firm, and after much planning and preparation, expanded his practice to encompass firearms-related matters. He is particularly focused on criminal and civil defense work for clients who have had to use firearms in self-defense. He has also expanded into matters involving federal and state firearms regulation, as well as Second Amendment-based litigation. Mr. Sulzer has an AV Preeminent Peer and Judicial Rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell for legal skills and professional ethics. Mr. Sulzer is pleased to have been selected as a referral attorney for both the United States Concealed Carry Association and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. Mr. Sulzer has developed a two-part training course entitled “The Legal Use of Firearms for Self-Defense in Virginia – When the Defensive Use of Firearms Is Permissible and How to Win the Legal Battle That Will Follow.” For the past five years, Mr. Sulzer has taught the course regularly in northern Virginia at the Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly and Fredericksburg (through Historic Arms Corp.’s Firearms Training Store), at Silver Eagle Group in Ashburn; at Fairfax Rod & Gun Club in Manassas; and at The Gun Dude in Falls Church. The course has received enthusiastic reviews from the northern Virginia shooting community and has become the gold standard for those who carry concealed or rely on firearms for home security and self-defense. Mr. Sulzer is now offering the course live online through the National Firearms Law Institute. He is also developing an online version of the course covering the law of self-defense in several mid-atlantic and southeastern states and will ultimately cover the law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Sulzer has also expanded NFLI’s course offerings with a new course on Virginia’s 2020 gun control legislation and a short course on insurance coverage and other programs available to protect your finances if you are involved in a self-defense incident. Mr. Sulzer has been active in the shooting sports dating back to the mid-1990s, when he began shooting service rifles in competition against the Marine Corps Rifle Teams and the Army Marksmanship Unit. He began his competitive shooting career with the M1A and transitioned to the AR-15 in 2000. He competed in three position “across the course” iron sight matches at distances of 200, 300, and 600 yards, and has also competed at 1,000 yards. When Mr. Sulzer retired from competition in 2005, he was shooting Master level scores. He still shoots handguns (particularly M-1911s) avidly, has held a Virginia Concealed Carry Permit since the late 1990s, and is an NRA-certified pistol instructor.
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