by William Teach | February 14, 2014 7:54 am
A win for the good guys, the folks who could end up using their gun to defend themselves and others
(Reuters) A federal appeals court on Thursday struck down a requirement by San Diego County that residents show “good cause” to carry a concealed firearm, a ruling that could force local governments across California to revisit the way they license handguns.
A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on a 2009 lawsuit, ruled in a 2-1 decision that San Diego County’s restrictions amounted to an unconstitutional infringement on citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms.
Coupled with a California state law that largely bans the open carrying of firearms in public, San Diego County’s “good cause” rules on concealed weapons effectively bar residents from carrying a gun altogether, the panel said.
“In California, 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,” Justice Thomas O’Scannlain wrote in the 77-page opinion for the majority.
To carry, one had to complete a training course (a good idea), show that they had good moral fiber, and show that they had “good cause” to carry. Those last two, especially the “good cause”, made it difficult to impossible for people to obtain the permit in California. San Diego County refused to accept self defense or personal safety as valid reasons. Which, of course, are the main two reasons. They had to demonstrate special need (like they were a big donor to Democrats) or special risk (like they’re a Hollywood actor) to obtain the permit. No more, thanks to the ruling.
“The 9th Circuit confirmed that the government no longer gets to pick and choose which law-abiding citizens may exercise their constitutional right to carry a firearm for self-defense,” said attorney Chuck Michel, who represented the plaintiffs challenging San Diego’s restrictions in the case.
“This is a landmark ruling for the state of California. No longer will criminals have the security of knowing that their victims are defenseless in public,” Michel said.
Eugene Volokh digs deep into the decisions, and notes that this also affects open-carry. Essentially, the California law banned both, especially the heavier restrictions in San Diego County.
I think the Ninth Circuit majority’s analysis is correct on this, and the dissent’s is mistaken. The dissent keeps stressing that the case should be about whether the California ban on concealed carry is constitutional, and that Heller says that the concealed carry ban is indeed constitutional. But the California ban on concealed carry is part of a general scheme that bans the great bulk of all carrying in public for self-defense (unless one has a permit that the police may choose not to grant). It is this general scheme that violates the Second Amendment, even if a ban on concealed carry that left people free to carry openly would not do so.
Make sure to read the whole thing.
Elsewhere, we learn that an aide to NY Governor Cuomo, whose state restricts people from bringing guns to work, a law Cuomo pushed for and signed, was caught carrying a gun at work (and waiving it around irresponsibly), and *surprise!* received a waiver.
And in Connecticut, citizens are refusing to register their guns per the draconian law. Some estimates put registration as low as 15%.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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