Today, the Ninth Circuit agreed to rehear Peruta v. San Diego, a dangerous decision that struck down San Diego County’s application of the state’s “good cause” requirement for concealed carry permits. This very encouraging news comes on the heels of a string of recent court victories for smart gun laws, including decisions on a large capacity magazine ban in Sunnyvale and California’s Unsafe Handgun Act.
Peruta is an especially high-profile case that has the potential to influence gun policy across the country. At issue is whether requiring permit applicants to demonstrate a specific need to carry a loaded, hidden weapon in public violates the Second Amendment. The two-judge majority in Peruta struck down that requirement, but the decision was contrary to the rulings of several other circuit courts nationwide and, if allowed to stand, would seriously jeopardize public safety in California.
The Law Center has been involved in Peruta from the start, filing several amicus briefs throughout the litigation, including one urging the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case, and we are very excited that the Ninth Circuit agreed—rightly—that a review of the decision was warranted.
Today’s news demonstrates yet again that the gun lobby is on the run when it comes to Second Amendment litigation. These victories combined with last year’s landmark background checks ballot initiative in Washington State and the slew of smart gun laws being introduced in state legislatures across the country shows that in spite of federal inaction, Americans are willing to fight for the sensible gun legislation that save lives.
Read our full summary of Peruta to learn more.
Brett A. Clark/The Daily Advance
Around the country, courts are confronting a critical question: whether the Second Amendment requires states to issue concealed handgun licenses to virtually anyone who wants one.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit addressed that question, holding that New York’s requirement that concealed carry applicants show “a special need for self-protection” does not violate the Second Amendment. In Kachalsky v. Cacace, the court explained that the requirement of a showing of need is substantially related to the government’s important interests in preventing crime and guaranteeing public safety. The court found that the requirement is consistent with gun regulation that has existed since the nation’s founding, noting, “[t]here is a longstanding tradition of states regulating firearm possession and use in public because of the dangers posed to public safety.” New York has required a showing of need for carrying a concealed weapon for 100 years.
While many states issue a concealed handgun license to virtually anyone who applies, states like California and New York require an applicant to show a legitimate need to carry a gun in public, usually by presenting documentation of a real threat to the applicant’s safety. Those requirements are now under attack in a number of Second Amendment lawsuits nationwide brought by individuals who have no legitimate need to carry guns in public places.
Thankfully, the courts are standing up for the safety of their citizens and protecting the laws that work to reduce the violence that plagues their communities. For more this trend, read our publication, The Second Amendment Battleground: Victories in the Courts and Why They Matter.
To find out more about this case, read the decision in Kachalsky v. Cacace.
Want more? Check out the other recent success stories.
On March 2nd, Wyoming’s governor signed into law a bill that allows concealed guns to be carried in public without a permit. The new law abolishes the state’s mandatory permitting scheme (permits are now optional), which required applicants to pass a background check and demonstrate familiarity with a firearm. The permitting scheme gave local law enforcement discretion to deny a permit when there was reasonable ground to believe that an applicant was likely to be a danger to self or the community. Wyoming is the fourth state, along with Vermont, Alaska, and Arizona, to take the reckless step to allow concealed weapons to be carried without a license.