June 11, 2016: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision

While not shocking, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decision on the case of Peruta v. County of San Diego is telling.  What it tells us is that only four of the eleven judges understand that some California’s counties requirement to show “good cause” or “valid” reasons is tantamount to a total ban on the right of an ordinary citizen to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.  Individual counties requirements for “good cause” or “valid” reasons combined with California’s “may issue” approach are used for denial of permit requests.  A general desire for self-protection and protection of family does not constitute “good cause.”

The majority in the 7 to 4 verdict interpret that there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public. Further, the appellants who sought to carry concealed firearms in public for self-defense were denied license because they could not demonstrate “good cause” as determined by the sheriffs of San Diego and Yolo Counties. 

There is a stark difference in what some states allow of their Citizens and what other states deny. California is one of the states whose government believes that the basic human right of self-defense is not justification for a human to have the choice to use a tool that enables that person to overcome a disparity of force in a threatening confrontation. 

According to California state law, residents do not have the right to prepare in advance for a potential deadly encounter. California gives the advantage to the criminal aggressor. “Good Cause” in California apparently requires you to already be under threat from another person before you will be granted the right to use a gun to respond with deadly force if you are attacked. 

There has been a conscious push in states to adopt “shall issue” laws for permitting concealed carry instead of this example of “may issue”. Information Posted by USA Carry indicates that the list of “may Issue” states includes: California, Connecticut, The District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey.  The rest of the states have become “shall issue” or do not require their Citizens to apply for permits for concealed carry. 

In the dissenting opinion, Judge Callahan cites cases in other circuits (2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 7th) that have either agreed that the Second Amendment right to bear arms extends outside the home or have assumed that the right exists.  This decision by the 9th is in contrast to other Courts.  This decision is also a reversal of the initial 3 judge panel decision on this case.

There is a great deal of difference between the States requirements for its Citizens in the “shall-issue“ states. Some have adopted a coined term “Constitutional Carry” where there is no licensing for concealed carry.  The decision by the 9th Circuit of Appeals makes this term invalid in California and Hawaii.

The states in the 9th Circuit include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.  Alaska, Arizona, and Montana (outside city limits) do not require a permit to carry concealed.  The result of the decision is that California and Hawaii get to keep their restrictive “may-issue” laws. 



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