It’s a centuries-old debate: Whether people should be able to own guns, what kind, how many, and under what circumstances.
Gun shows are a part of that debate. A case being heard by the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was brought by a couple named Russell and Sallie Nordyke, who want to host guns shows in Alameda, Marin, and San Mateo counties. Currently, those counties ban gun shows.
At issue is whether people have the right under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to sell guns whenever and wherever they want. The Nordykes claim that local governments don’t have a right to restrict them from holding their gun shows.
Experts on both sides of the issue note that this case could have major implications for gun rights nationwide.
Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and author of a book on second amendment rights, said:
“This could be the next big gun case to go to the Supreme Court.”
The Nordykes have so far lost their appeals, including the one they made in 2009 when a federal panel ruled that the Alameda county ban could stand.
Even if the ninth circuit court rules against the Nordykes, it’s expected that the case will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Given the Roberts court’s record in recent years of striking down state gun laws, this local ban could be the next big win for gun rights advocates.