Court: Counties can restrict the location of gun stores

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Counties can restrict the location of gun stores without violating the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.

The ruling by an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a California county’s ordinance banning new gun stores within 500 feet of schools, day-care centers, residential areas, liquor stores and other gun shops.

A majority of the panel said the law did not violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms of would-be gun owners because there were other stores in the county where they could buy a gun.

“Gun buyers have no right to have a gun store in a particular location, at least as long as their access is not meaningfully constrained,” Judge Marsha Berzon said.

The majority also rejected the argument that gun sellers’ Second Amendment rights were violated, saying there is no constitutional right to sell guns.

The ordinance at issue was passed by the San Francisco Bay Area county of Alameda. A phone message after hours to an attorney for groups that challenged the law was not immediately returned.

The ruling overturned a decision last year by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit that said the Second Amendment extends to gun stores and requires governments to justify restrictions on them.

That panel in a 2-1 decision said Alameda County had to present evidence to justify the restriction on gun store locations.

 

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