Guns

Federal Court Rejects California Appeal, Reaffirms Second Amendment Victory Over Conceal-Carry Restrictions

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Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed Second Amendment advocates a major victory by invalidating San Diego, California's requirement that conceal-carry permits only be issued to those gun owners who could show they had a "good cause" for carrying a concealed gun in public. According to the government officials charged with enforcing that provision, it should be noted, "one's personal safety is not considered good cause." Writing for the majority in Peruta v. County of San Diego, 9th Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain denounced that government's approach as a violation of the Second Amendment. "In California," Judge O'Scannlain observed, "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."

San Diego Sheriff William Gore then surprised many gun control activists by declining to file an appeal and saying he would obey the court's decision. The state of California did not like the sound of that, however, and promptly filed its own request to intervene in the case. In effect, the state asked the court's permission to take the reins and launch a gun control appeal of its own.

But that request fell flat today at the 9th Circuit. "Considering each of the relevant factors," the 9th Circuit said, "we conclude that the movants have not met the heavy burden of demonstrating 'imperative reasons' in favor of intervention on appeal."

The upshot is that with both San Diego and the state government now out of the picture, there is no longer any party left with potential standing to challenge the 9th Circuit's decision. Peruta's holding that "the right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense" is now the law of the land in both California and the rest of the territory covered by the 9th Circuit.