Posted on August 19, 2011
Case Information: Peruta v. County of San Diego, No. 10-56971 (9th Cir., filed Aug. 19, 2011)
At Issue: Challenging California’s concealed carry law. In this lawsuit against San Diego County, California, the appellants argue that California’s concealed handgun license law, which grants law enforcement discretion to determine whether an individual has “good cause” to receive a license, violates the Second Amendment.
Law Center’s Brief: Our brief argues that because California’s concealed carry law does not burden the Second Amendment, it is subject to, and clearly satisfies, rational basis review. Alternatively, if the court finds that the law substantially burdens the Second Amendment, intermediate scrutiny is the proper basis for review, and the statute easily satisfies that test as well. The brief was joined by the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. The court concluded that California’s “good cause” policy would pass constitutional muster under intermediate scrutiny review because the policy is reasonably related to a substantial governmental interest in reducing the number of concealed handguns and, ultimately, the risk they create. The court thus declined to address whether the policy burdens a right protected by the Second Amendment.