California Concealed Weapons: Court Strikes Law Requiring 'Good Cause'

Friday, 14 Feb 2014 01:13 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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A California federal appeals court struck down a San Diego County law Thursday that requires residents to show "good cause" to obtain a concealed weapons permit, saying it violated the Constitution's Second Amendment, wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 against the San Diego law that did not allow people to obtain a concealed weapons permit just for the desire to protect themselves, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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"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 stated in his majority opinion, the Chronicle said.

California law requires applicants to show good cause, as well as good moral character, to carry concealed handguns, while leaving the permit process up to individual cities and counties.

The appeals court ruling would require local governments to issue permits to anyone of good moral character who wants to carry a concealed gun for self-protection, wrote the Chronicle.

Edward Peruta and others filed suit against Sheriff Bill Gore and the county in 2009.

"Hopefully this will at least establish some working ground rules for law-abiding citizens who desire to carry a firearm for self-defense," Peruta told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The case is now kicked back to U.S. District Court in San Diego for further proceedings.

National Rifle Association attorneys joined the case on appeal, wrote the Union-Tribune. Others joining Peruta in the suit included Michelle Laxson, James Dodd, Leslie Buncher, and Mark Cleary, noted the newspaper.

Gore has 14 days to ask the full appeals court to examine the ruling.

"What they really want to do is strike down California's open carry ban," senior deputy San Diego County counsel James Chapin told The Los Angeles Times. "That's really what this is about."

University of California, Los Angeles professor Adam Winkler, an expert on gun laws, told the Times the ruling is "a huge victory for gun owners in California. They have been seeking the right to carry concealed weapons for years now."

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