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Thursday, May 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Gun Show Hosts to Go En Banc at the 9th, Again

(CN) - The 9th Circuit will convene a second 11-judge panel to revisit a California county's ordinance that could ban gun shows in the area.

Monday's order states briefly that a majority of nonrecused judges have voted to grant an en banc hearing to the 11-year-old case, which a three-judge panel from San Francisco revived in May.

Alameda County passed an ordinance in 1999 making it a misdemeanor to bring or posses a firearm or ammunition on county property. Gun show promoters Russell and Sallie Nordyke filed suit, arguing that the ordinance truly intended to outlaw gun shows that the couple had hosted on county fairgrounds since 1991.

U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins, in California's Northern District, ruled for the county on the Nordykes' First Amendment and equal protection claims. The Nordykes appealed after Jenkins refused to let them add Second Amendment claims in an amended complaint.

On remand from an initial hearing by the full 9th Circuit, the three-judge panel found in May that the Nordykes should be allowed to amend their complaint because of developments at the U.S. Supreme Court. The panel said all of the high court's "modern Second Amendment case law" - including the landmark 2008 rulings in McDonald v. Chicago and District of Columbia v. Heller - had been decided during the six years since the Nordykes initially raised their Second Amendment issues.

The judges also affirmed dismissal of the Nordykes' First Amendment claim, saying they were not convinced that Alameda had adopted the law to limit free expression among "gun culture" members.

Because of the new rehearing, that decision now takes on nonprecedential status.

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