9th Circuit: No 2nd Am. Right to Concealed Firearms in Public

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 09, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that citizens do not have a Second Amendment right to carry concealed firearms in public. The California federal court that covers states Arizona, Nevada, Oregon Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii as well found that laws requiring gun owners to show "good cause" for carrying concealed handguns were not an unconstitutional restriction on a person's right to bear arms.

So what, specifically, did the court say, and what does this mean for gun owners nationwide? You can read the full opinion below:

Good Cause?

California generally prohibits concealed carry and only issues permits when a person can show good cause for possessing a concealed firearm in public. County sheriffs had the freedom to define good cause, but alleging personal safety alone was not enough to secure a permit. San Diego County, where the case began, defined good cause as "a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm's way."

After Edward Peruta was denied a concealed carry permit in San Diego he sued, claiming the regulation infringed on his Second Amendment rights. A lower court agreed, but the Ninth Circuit overturned that ruling, stating, "the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public." Additionally, the court said officials may enact "any prohibition or restriction a state may choose" on the carrying of concealed guns.

Good Case?

The Ninth Circuit's decision aligns with previous rulings by the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits that cover states in the northeast and eastern seaboard. The Seventh Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, recently struck down an Illinois statute similar to California's.

The issue seems destined for the Supreme Court -- Judge William A. Fletcher, who authored the opinion noted that the highest court in the land has yet to decide whether Second Amendment protections include a person's right to carry a firearm openly in public, let alone concealed. Until then, the Ninth Circuit's decision will stand, and you can read it in full below:

Edward Peruta v. County of San Diego by FindLaw

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