Concealed Carry Permits Not Protected By 2nd Amendment

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on February 26, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Owning a gun is a right protected by the Second Amendment, but it doesn't include the right to a concealed carry permit, according to a federal court.

The case started with a Washington man, Gray Peterson, who was denied a concealed carry permit in Colorado. The state only issues those permits to certain people, a policy that Peterson claimed violated his Second Amendment rights.

His complaint was initially dismissed by a federal district court judge and Peterson appealed the decision. But with Friday's decision, it looks like he was unsuccessful.

Peterson has a concealed carry permit in his home state of Washington and in Florida, according to The Associated Press. He wanted one for Colorado since he travels to Denver often.

But the state of Colorado doesn't honor concealed carry permits from Washington. The reason? Washington won't honor Colorado permits.

Peterson also can't get a Colorado concealed carry permit because he isn't a state citizen.

Many states follow that pattern of only honoring permits from states that return the favor. But Peterson said it was more than a political decision.

He claimed it was a violation of his rights. Unfortunately for him, the three-judge panel didn't agree.

The court noted that the right to keep and bear arms doesn't rely on being able to carry a concealed weapon. In fact, the U.S. has a history of restricting a citizen's freedom to carry concealed firearms.

Based on that, the court determined that refusing concealed-carry permits is not a violation of the Second Amendment.

That's good news for states like Colorado that only issue concealed carry permits to certain individuals. It's also good news for states that don't allow concealed carry at all.

The Second Amendment guarantees the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. As part of that right, states can't prohibit citizens from buying or owning firearms.

But they can put limits on where and how people carry those guns.

That includes laws on permitting and storage requirements, waiting periods, and places where guns aren't permitted, like courtrooms and schools.

The person that's not good news for is Peterson, who still won't be able to get a concealed carry permit in Colorado. He could file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, but will he? Only time will tell.

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