Texas has some of the most permissive gun laws in the United States, but a court decision in Hawaii is raising eyebrows. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, considered one of the most liberal in the nation, endorsed the right to carry firearms in public after a case in Hawaii denied an individual the right to carry a loaded weapon in public.
Charles “Rocky” Rhodes, a law professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, broke this decision down with Texas Standard Host David Brown.
Although the 9th Circuit is considered to be liberal, both Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan have a total of three judges within the court. Rhodes says in addition, the court has been paying more attention to the history of gun control regulation.
“Interestingly enough, the history, both pre-civil war and after the civil war, the idea of concealed carry was against the law in many states in this particular time historically because the idea was that you wanted to know if someone was armed,” Rhodes says. “Open carry has a much longer historical pedigree when we look back to the founding fathers.”
Rhodes says that the differences between Hawaii and Texas comes down to what the state presumes about the individual and their inherent right to carry a weapon.
“Texas’ presumption is that you have that right and it can only be taken away from you for things that have happened in your past, crimes, etc., but what happened before in Hawaii [is] you had to prove you had a strong need for [open carry,]” Rhodes says. “It’s going to come down to what’s the presumption. Is it the presumption that you have the right to bare arms and only some are restricted, or is the presumption that you don’t have the right and only a few can get that right.”
Written by Haley Butler.