Appeals Court: States Can Restrict Concealed Weapons

Appeals Court: States Can Restrict Concealed Weapons

A new ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could be the beginning of a new showdown on gun rights. On June 9, the federal appeals court ruled that there is no Second Amendment protection for concealed weapons. This ruling will allow states to prohibit or restrict the public from carrying concealed firearms.

The case was brought to court by gun owners in California who were denied permits to carry concealed weapons, even though they had passed background checks. In California, citizens must prove they have a “good cause” to carry concealed firearms to get a license. The plaintiffs challenged the guidelines in San Diego and Yolo counties that did not consider general self-defense to be enough of a “good cause” to obtain a license.

The 9th Circuit held 7-4 in the case, Peruta v. County of San Diego, that the restrictions on concealed carry are constitutional, ruling that the Second Amendment right to bear arms does not provide a right to carry concealed arms.

The court was careful to make the ruling narrow. The opinion does not say concealed carry is unconstitutional, nor does it make any decision about openly carrying weapons in public.

Gun rights advocates are surely to appeal the ruling, though the Supreme Court would not necessarily have to take up the case. The ruling does not create a substantive divide amount different circuit courts in the U.S., one of the major factors the court considers in weighing which cases to take.

California state Attorney General Kamala Harris said the decision, “is a victory for public safety and sensible gun safety laws. The ruling ensures that local law enforcement leaders have the tools they need to protect public safety by determining who can carry loaded, concealed weapons in our communities."

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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