Society

Appeals Court Strikes Down California 'Good Cause' Concealed-Carry Restriction

| by Allison Geller

In a landmark ruling, a federal appeals court struck down California’s tough concealed carry restriction that required weapons-holders to show “good cause” to lawfully carry a gun.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in a 2-1 decision that the law violated the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, Reuters reported.

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"In California, the only way that the typical, responsible, law-abiding citizen can carry a weapon in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense is with a concealed carry permit. And, in San Diego County, that option has been taken off the table," Justice Thomas O'Scannlain wrote in the 77-page majority opinion.

As the law stood, applicants for a permit had to demonstrate good cause to possess a handgun, in addition to good moral character, according to the San Francisco Gate. The permit process was left up to individual cities and county.

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O'Scannlain wrote in his decision that the constitutional right to bear arms was not “limited to the home,” so the state must allow people the option of carrying a weapon to protect themselves in public.

C.D. Michel, a lawyer for the National Rifle and Pistol Foundation, called the ruling the "probably the biggest Second Amendment win" since the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling.

"The right to self-defense doesn't end at your threshold," Michel said.

If it stands, the appellate court’s ruling will require local governments to issue a permit to anyone with good moral character for purposes of self-defense.

Federal appeals courts have upheld similar laws restricting the carrying of weapons in public in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. On the other hand, Illinois’ appellate court struck down the state’s absolute ban on weapons in public. The issue may be headed to the Supreme Court for an ultimate decision. 

Sources: ReutersSan Francisco Gate