Federal Court Says ‘Good Cause’ Requirement for Conceal-Carry Permits Violates the Second Amendment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed gun rights advocates a major victory today by invalidating San Diego, California’s requirement that conceal-carry permits only be issued to those gun owners who have a “good cause” to carry a concealed gun in public. According to local officials, “one’s personal safety is not considered good cause.” In his opinion for a divided three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain rejected the local government’s approach as an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment.

“In California,” the ruling observes, “the only way that the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen can carry a weapon in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense is with a concealed-carry permit. And, in San Diego County, that option has been taken off the table.”

As Brian Doherty noted on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering whether it will take up two other cases that also center on the Second Amendment’s reach outside of the home. This new ruling from the 9th Circuit makes it all the more likely that the question of gun rights in public will soon be addressed by the Supreme Court.

Today's ruling by the 9th Circuit in Peruta v. County of San Diego is available here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • R C Dean||

    one’s personal safety is not considered good cause

    Well, unless you're a cop. Or retired cop, anyway.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Or some jerk throws really dangerous popcorn.

  • UnCivilServant||

    That was an assault bucket - it held more than ten kernels of corn.

  • Paul.||

    To be fair, it was particularly pointy popcorn.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    And coated with a deadly poison! (Butter)

  • larry hammond||

    Deadly poison, yes. Butter? In a movie theater? That stuff is NOT butter.

  • Michael Price||

    Yeah but whatever it is it's not less poisonous than butter.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    Egads! Transfats!

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    What I want to know is this: what habits of thought must this 25 year veteran of SWAT command have had to be able to go from being struck with popcorn to deadly force? This couldn't have been the first time he has rationalized such an escalation.

  • fish||

    Today's ruling by the 9th Circuit in Peruta v. County of San Diego is available here.

    Hey Damon...the link to the ruling takes one to the reason.com administrative login page

  • UnCivilServant||

    Wait, the 9th Circut broke lock-step with its ideological masters?

  • sarcasmic||

    They throw us a bone once in a while.

  • Jordan||

    The 9th Circuit is not the clownshow that it used to be.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Depends on which three you get on your panel - en banc I do not know if they would do this....?

  • UnCivilServant||

    So they got the three that are supposed to be there to write minority opinions, but a bureaucratic error put more than one on a three judge panel?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Age of Wonders.

  • Drake||

    Isn't NJ getting sued in basically the same case? (by Drake)


  • Paul.||

    Something something compelling government interest something reducing gun violence.


  • UnCivilServant||

    If there were a compelling government interest in reducing gun violence, cops would be disarmed.

  • DH||

    I bet Boxer and Feinstein are just elated about this. They're probably celebrating with a little lesbian love session.

  • Cytotoxic||


  • DH||


  • montana mike||

    Fuck, add in Nancy and that is threesome from Hades.

  • dinkster||

    the sounds of paper being vigorously wrinkled drift in from the bedroom

  • Wandering Texan||

    Oh, that was a good laugh. Solid, from the belly.

    I don't get to laugh like that very often!

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    According to local officials, “one’s personal safety is not considered good cause.”

    I will never understand the minds of these people.

  • ||

    That is because you are thinking they argue in good faith. They dont.

    They like their boot on your neck and need you to be helpless to keep it there. They just spew any horse shit they think will justify keeping things that way.

  • thom77||


    What's truly hard to understand are the useful idiots who nod approvingly when they hear such nonsense and believe that they're being kept safe and free by these people.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    that is why I don't consider the safety of officers to be a good cause

  • Yegg Central||

    I can't say that I'm surprised that the dissenting judge is a Clinton appointee.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Apparently Hell really did freeze over....

  • Anonymous Coward||

    According to local officials, “one’s personal safety is not considered good cause.”

    Uh-huh. Because it's not as though you might face an armed robber at the gas station who is statistically likely to kill you even if you do give up your money.

    P.S. The video warmed icy, black heart and made me proud to be an American.

    P.P.S. I sincerely hope the CPD catches the other two chickenshits who ran off after their buddy got killed and charge them with felony murder.

  • DH||

    Come on now, he was a cop. Remember according to Feinstein, Bloomberg, Cuomo and the rest of their ilk, cops are different than you or I. Its okay if they use a gun to protect themselves.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Just from the video, would you have known he was an off-duty sheriff's deputy?

  • DH||

    Nope. Are you trying to make a point?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Just that everyone should enjoy the right to shoot their armed robber in the face, whether they're wearing a shield or not.

  • John C. Randolph||

    There is no better cause than protecting one's personal safety.


  • AlbertP||

    This could really change things for a lot of folks here in CA. I live in a county which is basically a will-issue county for concealed-carry-permits, as are most of the rural counties. Maybe now the rest of the state will have the same rights as we few "hicks."

  • Harvard||

    Guns, like Suburbans, are sentient beings. They carry us. What'cha gonna do?

  • thom77||

    I just read the entire decision, and it's the kind of brilliant common-sense jurisprudence that I didn't think existed in this country anymore; especially not on the ninth circuit.

  • Michael Price||

    "one’s personal safety is not considered good cause"
    So it's considered a good enough cause to shoot someone to death, but it's not considered a good enough cause to carry the means to do so.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.