WV Civil Rights Lawyer

Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Law

Fourth Circuit Open Carry Decision

The Fourth Circuit issued a decision bolstering our 2nd Amendment rights.  The case is styled  USA v. Nathaniel Black, out of the Western District of North Carolina.  Essentially, a guy who was a convicted felon was open carrying a firearm.  He was then seized by police, who were subsequently able to determine that he was not allowed to possess a firearm.  But, was it an unconstitutional seizure since they didn’t know before they seized the guy that he was committing a crime by possessing a firearm?

The 4th Circuit held that it was unconstitutional to seize the man merely because they observed him with a holstered handgun, since they had no reason to believe that he was legally barred from possessing firearms, or that he was engaging in any other illegal activity.  The importance of this decision is that it protects our 2nd Amendment rights.  If it is legal for us to openly carry a handgun, then law enforcement is unable to seize us in order to determine our criminal record, harass us, etc.  The case has all the goodies when it comes to search and seizure case law in the Fourth Circuit (WV, VA, NC, MD).


March 20, 2013 - Posted by | Concealed Weapons, Police, Police Misconduct, Searches and Seizures, Self Defense, Suppression, West Virginia Concealed Carry Laws, West Virginia Gun Laws


  1. I wish I had you for a defense attorney instead of the jokers I end up with.

    Comment by Daniel | March 20, 2013 | Reply

  2. how did he get the gun in the first place he needs to be put in jail it makes it hard for god fearing gun owners

    Comment by shawn | March 24, 2013 | Reply

  3. is it normal for a indigent defendant with an appointed public defender to be charged by the county under court costs for his psychological evaluation? my husband parole officer is submitting his paperwork to be discharged and it was discovered that he owes for that which I find funny because why didn’t they take it out of the wages he earned in prison? any information you could provide regarding this would be much appreciated (it’s in kanawha county circuit court)

    Comment by confused | March 27, 2013 | Reply

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