Court Overturns Concealed-Carry Rule in Blow to California Gun Law

Photo Credit: ReutersBy Dan Whitcomb.

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.

California, which has enacted some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, allows residents to carry a concealed weapon if they meet several requirements, including completing a training course, demonstrating good moral character and establishing “good cause” to have the gun.

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Photo Credit: ReutersCalif. concealed weapon law tossed by fed appeals court

By Associated Press.

A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California’s concealed weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

By a 2-1 vote, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California was wrong to require applicants to show good cause to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority.

Judge Sidney Thomas dissented, writing that the good cause requirement limited the number of people carrying concealed handguns in public to those legitimately in need.

“It limits the risk to public safety by reducing the number of guns in public circulation, but allows those who will most likely need to defend themselves in public to carry a handgun,” Thomas wrote.

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