Nordyke v. King

Nordyke v. King was a case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in which a ban of firearms on all public property and whether the Second Amendment should be applied to the state and local governments is to be decided. After several hearings at different levels of the federal court system, Alameda County, California promised that gun shows could be held on county property, essentially repudiating its ordinance.

Nordyke v. King
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.svg
CourtUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Full case nameRussell Allen Nordyke, et al v. Mary V. King, et al
ArguedJanuary 15, 2009
RearguedOctober 19, 2010
DecidedMay 2, 2011
Citation(s)563 F.3d 439 (9th Cir. 2009)
Reh'g, 644 F.3d 776 (9th Cir. 2011)
En banc, 681 F. 3d 1041 (9th Cir. 2012)
Court membership
Judge(s) sittingArthur Lawrence Alarcon, Diarmuid O'Scannlain, Ronald M. Gould
Case opinions
MajorityO'Scannlain, joined by Alarcon
Laws applied
Second Amendment


The Board of Supervisors of Alameda County, California had passed Ordinance No. 0-2000-22, codified at General Ordinance Code section 9.12.120, making it a misdemeanor to bring onto or to possess a firearm or ammunition on all County property.[1] Gun show promoters challenged the ordinance.[2]


Nordyke IVEdit

On April 20, 2009, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court ruling which upheld the Alameda County ordinance. The court accepted Nordyke's argument that the Second Amendment was incorporated through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and so that it applied to the states and local governments.[3] In coming to that conclusion, the court found the right to keep and bear arms is "deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition", a key factor under Duncan v. Louisiana for incorporation.[4] However, the court ruled that the ordinance was constitutional, finding the ban of guns on county property to fall under Heller's doctrine allowing governments to restrict possession in "sensitive" places.

Nordyke VEdit

En banc rehearingEdit

On May 18, 2009, an anonymous judge of the Ninth Circuit called for briefing from both sides on whether the case should be reheard en banc.[5] On July 29, 2009, the Ninth Circuit decided to rehear this case en banc, thereby vacating both parts of the April 20 ruling.[6][7][8] After rehearing the case on September 24, 2009, the Ninth Circuit decided to delay ruling on the case until the Supreme Court decided McDonald v. Chicago.[9]

Three judge panel rehearingEdit

On July 12, 2010 the case was remanded by the en banc panel to the three judge panel for rehearing following McDonald v. Chicago, and oral arguments were heard by a panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court on October 19, 2010.[10] On May 2, 2011, the court released its decision.[11] Nordyke loses and is sent back to district court to argue the second amendment claim.

Nordyke VIEdit

Subsequently, the court entertained a request from the plaintiffs for a rehearing en banc, and in June 2011 ordered the defendants to file a response. On November 28, 2011, the full Ninth Circuit Court agreed to hear the case.[12]

The case was reheard on March 19, 2012. During oral arguments the county stated that gun shows were not banned, and could be held with unloaded firearms if they were secured with cables. On April 4, 2012 the court ordered the parties to mediation.[13] On June 1, 2012, the full appeals court ruled that the county law was constitutional, since it allowed gun shows to take place on the fairgrounds, with tight restrictions.[14][15]


  1. ^ Nordyke v. King, ___ F.3d ___, at 4471 (9th Cir. 2009).
  2. ^ Egelko, Bob (2009-04-21). "Citizens can challenge state, local gun laws". San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ Nordyke v. King, ___ F.3d ___, at 4496 (9th Cir. 2009).
  4. ^ Nordyke v. King, ___ F.3d ___, at 4484 (9th Cir. 2009).
  5. ^ Volokh, Eugene (2009-05-19). "Ninth Circuit Judge Calls for En Banc Review in Ninth Circuit's Second Amendment Gun Show Case".
  6. ^ Volokh, Eugene (July 29, 2009). "Ninth Circuit Will Rehear Nordyke v. King En Banc". The Volokh Conspiracy. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  7. ^ Schwartz, John (July 30, 2009). "Appeals Court Sets Rehearing on Ruling That Eased Gun Restrictions". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  8. ^ Egelko, Bob (July 30, 2009). "New Hearing Set on Fairgrounds Gun Ban". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  9. ^ Denniston, Lyle (September 25, 2009). "9th CA: Gun case on hold". SCOTUSblog. Archived from the original on October 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
  10. ^ Recording of the Oct 19, 2010 arguments, U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit web site. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  11. ^ Nordyke v. King opinion, U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit web site, May 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  12. ^ Egelko, Bob (November 29, 2011). "Court to Take Up Fairgrounds Gun Ban", San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  13. ^ Nordyke v. King order, U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit web site, April 14, 2012
  14. ^ Nordyke v. King opinion, U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit web site, June 1, 2012
  15. ^ Mintz, Howard (June 1, 2012). "Alameda County Gun Show Ordinance Upheld by Appeals Court", San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved June 2, 2012.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit