Federal appeals court overturns California concealed weapons ban

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Thursday struck down [opinion, PDF] a California concealed weapons rule [text], ruling it violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The rule required concealed weapons applicants to show good cause to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon, be of "good moral character," and complete a training course. In order to establish good cause, supporting documents such as restraining orders or letters from law enforcement agencies could be used to determine whether the applicant could show a sufficiently pressing need for self-protection. Plaintiffs Edward Peruta, Michelle Laxson, James Dodd, Leslie Buncher and Mark Cleary wished to carry handguns for self-defense but were unable to provide supporting documents. The plaintiffs sued San Diego County, alleging that the rule infringed upon their Second Amendment [text] right to bear arms. Using the historical and plain-meaning interpretation of the constitutional language, the court ruled [AP report] that if the right to bear arms were restricted to the home, the constitutional significance of the right would not be achieved.

The Second Amendment and gun control [JURIST news archive] remain controversial issues in the US. Last year the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that permits to carry concealed weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment. On the same day the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] refused to reconsider a ruling that struck down [JURIST reports] Illinois' ban on carrying concealed weapons. In January 2013 President Barack Obama [official website] signed 23 executive actions [JURIST report] and called on Congress to pass stricter gun-control laws. In November 2012 the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] held [JURIST reports] that New York can continue to require residents who seek to carry a concealed weapon to obtain a special license.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.