In a dubious, and ground breaking, decision an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that individuals do not have a Second Amendment right to carry concealed weapons in public.
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Thursday on the Edward Peruta v. County of San Diego case which revolved around California’s concealed carry laws. California state law requires applicants to show “good cause,” such as a fear of personal safety, in order to to carry a concealed firearm. The plaintiff Edward Peruta challenged the “good cause” stipulation on the grounds that carrying a firearm for self defense was protected under the 2nd Amendment.
However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco did not agree, and they ruled 7-4 to uphold the law requiring “good cause”. In an almost shocking majority opinion the court said that “The right of a member of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment. Therefore, because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public, any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry”.
This decision seems to contradict previous supreme court rulings and it will most likely be challenged and settled by a new Supreme Court ruling.
Here is summary of the ruling. You can read the entire document here
The en banc court affirmed the district courts’ judgments and held that there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public. Appellants, who live in San Diego and Yolo Counties, sought to carry concealed firearms in public for self-defense, but alleged they were denied licenses to do so because they did not satisfy the good cause requirements in their counties. Under California law, an applicant for a license must show, among other things, “good cause” to carry a concealed firearm. California law authorizes county sheriffs to establish and publish policies defining good cause. Appellants contend that San Diego and Yolo Counties’ published policies defining good cause violate their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The en banc court held that the history relevant to both the Second Amendment and its incorporation by the Fourteenth Amendment lead to the same conclusion: The right of a member of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment. Therefore, because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public, any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry — including * This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. Case: 10-56971, 06/09/2016, ID: 10007709, DktEntry: 333-1, Page 3 of 89 (3 of 190) 4 PERUTA V. CTY. OF SAN DIEGO a requirement of “good cause,” however defined — is necessarily allowed by the Amendment. The en banc court stated that there may or may not be a Second Amendment right for a member of the general public to carry a firearm openly in public, but the Supreme Court has not answered that question. The en banc court granted the motion to intervene by the State of California, which sought intervention after the San Diego Sheriff declined to petition for rehearing en banc following the panel’s decision. The en banc court held that under the circumstances presented here, California’s motion to intervene was timely. Concurring, Judge Graber, joined byChief Judge Thomas and Judge McKeown, wrote separately only to state that, even if the Second Amendment applied to the carrying of concealed weapons in public, the provisions at issue would be constitutional. Dissenting, JudgeCallahan, joined by Judge Silverman as to all parts except section IV, by Judge Bea, and by Judge N.R. Smith as to all parts except section II.B, stated that in the context of present-day California law, the defendant counties’ limited licensing of the right to carry concealed firearms is tantamount to a total ban on the right of an ordinary citizen to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. Thus, plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights have been violated. Dissenting, Judge Silverman, joined by Judge Bea, would hold that the challenged laws are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment because they do not survive any form of heightened scrutiny analysis.
We will be updating this story as more details come in. Please check back for more updates.
UPDATE 4:40 PM 6/9/16
The NRA just released this statement on the ruling
“Once again the 9th Circuit showed how out of touch it is with mainstream Americans. This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection. This flawed ruling underscores the importance of the 2016 election. It is imperative that we elect a President who will appoint Supreme Court Justices who respect the Second Amendment and law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA-ILA.