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June 8, 2012 > Firearm ordinance upheld

Firearm ordinance upheld

Submitted By Guy Ashley

Alameda County won its long-fought court battle in Nordyke v. King, successfully defeating a gun show operator's challenge to its ordinance regulating firearms possession on County-owned property. The ordinance was challenged in 1999 by the Nordykes, who claimed the ordinance infringed on their constitutional rights because of its impact on their gun shows at the County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

In the June 1, 2012 decision by an eleven-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court found that "[n]o matter how broad the scope of the Second Amendment - an issue we leave to another day - it is clear that, as applied to Plaintiffs' gun shows and as interpreted by the County, this regulation is permissible."

The Court acknowledged the exception in the ordinance that allows possession of unloaded firearms at events on the Fairgrounds provided the firearms are secured when not in the immediate possession of an authorized participant in an event.

The Ninth Circuit found Alameda County's approach to be reasonable and that the ordinance minimally regulates gun shows on the County's own property. The Court concluded, "Plaintiffs cannot state a viable Second Amendment claim," and affirmed the trial court's decision dismissing all constitutional challenges to the Alameda County ordinance.

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