The open carry crowd in California is taking aim at the state’s ban on carrying unloaded holstered weapons in public places.
Four years ago, gun-rights advocates began gathering at local Starbucks to show off their firearms as an expression of their Second Amendment rights.
But that only fueled angry debate and a new law in the California Legislature to outlaw the practice. Now open-carry supporters say their sights have shifted to the state’s court system.
"That's the next logical step in the evolution of gun rights in California," Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California in Folsom told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The newspaper reported Saturday that as part of a new push, Paredes and others like him are hoping to use recent court rulings to turn California into an open-carry state.
The rulings dealt with the Second Amendment rights of concealed-carry permit applicants in San Diego County and Yolo County.
Paredes told the Chronicle the rulings will form the basis for future court arguments that state prohibition of open carrying of guns also violates the Constitution.
But one gun control lawyer told the newspaper that argument isn't going to fly.
“The gun lobby can't win this fight through the democratic process, so they are trying to overturn the will of the people in the courts," Cody Jacobs, staff lawyer for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, said. "However, they won't succeed."