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Court: No Right To Carry Concealed Weapons In Public

Mike Weinstein, director of training and security at the National Armory gun store and gun range, has a Ruger 1911 hand gun in a holster as he teaches a Concealed Weapons Permit class in Pompano Beach, Fla., Jan. 5, 2016.
Associated Press
Mike Weinstein, director of training and security at the National Armory gun store and gun range, has a Ruger 1911 hand gun in a holster as he teaches a Concealed Weapons Permit class in Pompano Beach, Fla., Jan. 5, 2016.

Court: No Right To Carry Concealed Weapons In Public
Court: No Right To Carry Concealed Weapons In Public GUEST:Dan Eaton, legal anaylst

It's Thursday, June 9. Our top story on midday edition, the federal court ruling that some analysts said undermined the basis of many gun-control laws across the country has been overturned by the ninth circuit Court of Appeals in California and it all stems from the San Diego County Sheriff's policy and issuing a concealed weapons permit. Now the ninth circuit has reversed and said the county's can require applicants to show good cause to get a concealed weapons permit. Attorney and legal analyst Dan Eaton, legal anaylst joins us. This case involved a San Diegan. He was denied a concealed carry permit in San Diego County. Tell us about that case. It's a fascinating case. I talked about two years ago and really first came out. The bottom line, is an independent journalist who wanted to get a gun to conceal carry, he applied for one through the San Diego Sheriff's Department and he was denied. Why, because he didn't meet the good cause requirement San Diego Sheriff's Department has established which requires there be some particular reason. You have to show a reason such as specific threat that have been made against you that wanted your ability to carry the concealed weapon. It wasn't enough you generally wanted to carry it for your personal protection. He said no, I shouldn't have to show a particular reason for threat to be able to carry it. He challenged it under the second amendment. He lost in the San Diego trial court appeal to the Ninth Circuit five in the San Diego trial court appeal to the Ninth Circuit 52-1 decision. The Ninth Circuit agreed which led to this ruling which overturned that earlier when. The three-judge panel ruled to-one in favor of him. What did they say in the ruling? They said that essentially, this good cause requirement obliterates the right to carry a weapon in public. The to-one decision said hello extends beyond the right to keep and bear arms with the right to carry outside in public for self-defense. California doesn't allow open carry, a good cause requirement that restrictive is too restrictive to give any meaning to the second amendment right and therefore that restricting had to be vacated and as a result he was entitled to get his gun. That was the ruling on the subject of these ruling. The way the Second Amendment was interpreted in that really made some analysts wonder if a broad interpretation of that ruling, inning gun-control laws could survive that test, do you agree? It's an interesting point. The bottom line question was whether that ruling said you have to let people have some ability to carry this outside but it's concealed or open. The fact is that a particular state did not have any real means to allow people to carry guns outside, those laws would come down and be required at the very least searching examination of gun-control laws that exist in a variety of state and local jurisdictions across the country. A larger judge panel overruled the three-judge panel. What do they say today in overruling that? It's a fascinating decision. It's limited and broad. It said the Second Amendment does not to any degree protect the right to carry weapons, concealed weapons in public. They went through a very searching examination of law going back to statues as far as 14th century England. That's how far back as a very long opinion goes to same history of the right to keep and bear arms, second amendment and colonial America up to present to suggest there's no constitutional right to carry concealed weapons. There's a right to carry weapons openly is one the Supreme Court didn't address in the landmark decision as one we don't address today. Certainly, states and localities such as San Diego can prohibit concealed carry weapons because the Second Amendment doesn't protect that as a right. One of the strange acts does not aspects you touched on is the judge seems to say the Second Amendment may protect the right of citizens to carry a firearm openly. That's against the law in California. Yes it is. Does not challenge here. What was challenge was concealed carry in conjunction with the open carry. What the people who challenge the says, to be nice to carry openly but not challenging that because what I want to do is carry a concealed weapon as a good cause requirement in San Diego they are just too restrictive. I have to be able to carry a gun for self defense in public. These restrictions of the definition of good cause by these local jurisdictions prohibit exercising that right and what is broader panel says is what right? There is no right to carry a concealed weapon in public under the Second Amendment going all the way back to 14th century England all the way up to the present. That's where things stand as a result of this ruling. For practical purpose, some of you was to applying for concealed weapons permits, which law applies? It's clear the regulation, the good cause requirement has put in place in San Diego applies. I have the radiation astronomy, there are two general categories relevant to applying for a concealed carry. When his personal protection which includes document it threats, restraining orders, and other related situation where applicants can demonstrate they are at a specific target at risk. The other applies to business owners. If you can show your good character and other requirements and there's a specific target, you can still get a license for concealed carry. You'll meet the good cause but generally self-defense won't cut it. I've been speaking with Dan didn't -- Dan Eaton, legal anaylst thank you so much. Thank you.

Dealing a blow to gun supporters, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public.

In a dispute that could ultimately wind up before the Supreme Court, a divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said local law enforcement officials can place significant restrictions on who is allowed to carry concealed guns.


The 9th Circuit decision arose from a lawsuit Edward Peruta filed challenging the San Diego County sheriff's refusal to issue him a permit because he failed to cite a "good cause." The sheriff required applicants to produce supporting documents, such as a restraining order against a possible attacker.

Peruta argued that the requirement violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"What this broader panel said is, ‘What right? There is no right to carry a concealed weapon in public under the Second Amendment, going all the way back to 14th century England, going all the way up to the present.’" legal analyst Dan Eaton told KPBS News.

By a vote of 7-4, the court upheld the California law that says applicants must supply a "good cause" to obtain a concealed-carry permit. People who are being stalked or threatened, celebrities who fear for their safety, and those who routinely carry large amounts of cash or other valuables are often given permits.

The ruling overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the same court that said applicants need only express a desire for personal safety.


The 9th Circuit's rulings are binding in nine Western states. Only two other federal appeals courts have taken up the issue — in cases out of New York and Maryland — and both ruled the way the 9th Circuit did.

The National Rifle Association called the ruling "out of touch."

"This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection," said NRA legislative chief Chris W. Cox.

The New York-based gun control organization Everytown welcomed the decision as "a major victory for public safety."

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