In June of 2008 the US Supreme Court clarified the Right to Bear Arms as guaranteed in the 2nd Amendment. Three Washington D.C. weapons laws were ruled unconstitutional by this clarification but one case arising out of San Diego wasn’t so lucky.
Miguel Flores was convicted of several charges in 2007 after fleeing from police and being discovered with a loaded firearm in his waistband. He was sentenced to 3 years probation for these charges. He appealed on the basis that the conviction violated his right to bear arms.
The California 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that the arrest and subsequent conviction did not violate Mr. Flores 2nd amendment rights and his conviction and sentence were upheld.
What the Supreme Court did rule was that 2 specific DC laws were in direct violation of the 2nd amendment. Supreme Court justices ruled 5 to 4 that the right to bear arms applied to people “possessing and carrying weapons in case of confrontation”.
This interpretation meant that DC laws prohibiting firearms in the home for self-defense were unconstitutional, and rightfully so. A man’s home is his castle and I don’t know of many people that would be comfortable being told they couldn’t have a gun in their home. Even those of us who don’t own firearms would likely take issue with such a law.
Second Amendment rights are frequently discussed by people who don’t fully understand their purpose and application. While we do have a right to protect ourselves and to own weapons, there are laws that must be applied to control this freedom in fear of it being taken advantage of.
Knowing and acting within the laws governing weapons and firearms can be confusing and easy to misinterpret. A few of the more common CA weapons offenses are described here. Check out the legal language used here, however, in the state law books.
It’s easy to see how people can misunderstand and break the laws regarding firearms. There really isn’t any doubt that running from police with a gun in your waistband is illegal but not all cases are this cut and dry.