On Thursday, February 13, 2014, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California's longstanding restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in public conflict with the Second Amendment, finding that California's "may issue" standard, which requires that applicants demonstrate "good cause" for needing a concealed carry permit, undermines the Constitutional right to bear arms. Legal analysts expect the government to appeal the decision, which could send the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This ruling was made possible, in part, by California's 2011 ban on the open carry of unloaded firearms. Without the option to carry either openly or concealed, the court had few options but to find California's gun laws overly restrictive.
In light of this major gun rights ruling, take a look at Reason TV's 2012 interview with Charles Nichols, president of California Right to Carry, about his legal challenges to California's gun laws. Originally released on March 19, 2012. The original text is below.
"It's unconstitutional to ban an entire class of weapons, one that the public find most useful for self-defense," says Charles Nichols, president of California Right To Carry and the man behind the first lawsuit to challenge California's open carry gun ban.
Nichols sat down with Reason.tv's Tim Cavanaugh to discuss his lawsuit, which is actually targeting the original ban from the 1970s that prohibited the carrying of loaded weapons. They discussed his prospects for success, as well as California's extremely strict gun control laws and how they might hold up in a post-DC v. Heller world.
About 6:14 minutes.
Interview by Tim Cavanaugh. Edited by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Paul Detrick, Anthony Fisher, and Weissmueller.
Update: Nichols, who has his own lawsuit challenging California's open carry ban pending, emailed asking that I clarify his opinion on Thursday's ruling:
The court in the Peruta decision did not rule that ""California's longstanding restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in public conflict with the Second Amendment." The court said in Peruta said:
"To be clear, we are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry. But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home." Peruta v. San Diego, No. 10-56971 at pg., 61…
…Indeed, the decision merely revered and remanded the denial of a motion for summary judgment which challenged the current CCW issuance policy of the Sheriff of San Diego County. All the Sheriff has to do is to write a new highly restrictive policy which might take him all of five minutes and Peruta will have to amend his complaint and the process will start all over again…
…I would like to take the opportunity to point out that if my Open Carry lawsuit wins, and there are many reasons it is likely to win even absent a Second Amendment, then my win moots the Peruta decision as well as any future concealed carry case.