9th Circuit Rules 2nd Amendment Does Not Protect Concealed Carry

By Dickelbers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Dickelbers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Last week a United States Court of Appeals for the 9th District decision ruled that there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms.

Peruta v. City of San Diego involved several citizens who had been denied concealed carry licenses by San Diego County Sheriff William Gore. The citizens alleged that this denial was based upon a California law’s requirement that an applicant for a license must show “good cause” to carry a concealed firearm. The applicants sued believing that such a requirement violates their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The en banc court disagreed.

“The right of a member of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment,” wrote the court.

“The decision is obviously a bad one and the justification given in the majority opinion relies on a deliberately incomplete reading of history and references only decisions that support the pre-determined outcome the majority were looking for,” Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance President Andrew Rothman said.

This decision currently only applies to the area covered by the 9th District Court of Appeals, a large chunk of the Western United States. This has no immediate effect on any state laws therein however, nor would a Supreme Court decision echoing the same sentiments.

“Minnesota and many other states already have laws that explicitly protect the right to carry, whether openly or concealed,” Rothman said.

According to Rothman, the effect of a national level decision in this regard would instead be to prevent the use of the Second Amendment as a way to challenge existing restrictions on concealed carry. Unless Peruta v. City of San Diego is overturned, concealed carry restrictions similar to California’s will have to find another avenue of attack.

The offices of House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and Senate Minority Leader David Hann did not respond to requests for comment on the decision. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk was out of town on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Anders Koskinen