A federal appeals court in California ruled this week that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public.
In a dispute that could wind up before the Supreme Court, a divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said local law enforcement officials can place significant restrictions on who is allowed to carry concealed guns.
Tom Hagel, professor of law emeritus at University of Dayton, said the law will have “zero impact” on Ohio.
“The Ohio court system is not mandated to follow any rulings of, for example, the 9th circuit court of appeals,” Hagel said.
The 9th Circuit covers nine Western states, but California and Hawaii are the only ones in which the ruling will have any practical effect.
“Just because a federal court says that you do not have a constitutional right doesn’t mean that the state that you live in cannot grant you that right through legislation,” Hagel said.
Hagel said this issue has come up time and again.
“There’s such a strong interest in it across the country, that ultimately I think someone is going to push this all the way to the Supreme Court,” Hagel said.
Thursday’s ruling in California has now placed thousands of applications for concealed carry permits on hold in the state.
The National Rifle Association called the ruling “out of touch.”
“This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection,” said NRA legislative chief Chris W. Cox.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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