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Friday, February 14, 2014

Court gives NRA a big win for concealed carry gun rights in California -- By Emily Miller, The Washington Times

Petura v. San Diego sets up Supreme Court to resolve conflict between circuits 

FILE: Paul Clement, a lawyer for 26 states seeking to have the Affordable Care Act tossed out, speaks to reporters in front of the Supreme Court at the end of arguments regarding the health care law signed by President Obama. March 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Second Amendment advocates won a major victory on Thursday when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the individual right to bear arms applies outside the home.

Specifically, the court said that San Diego’s restrictive concealed carry laws that require citizens to prove a need to defend themselves are unconstitutional.

The case of Edward Peruta, et al v. County of San Diego, et al dealt with a concealed carry permitting process that made it virtually impossible for the plaintiffs to get a license. (California already has a total ban on open carry.)

Writing for the majority, Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain concluded that “San Diego County’s ‘good cause’ permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.” The court reversed the district court’s decision.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) funded the plaintiffs’ legal battle. Paul Clement was the lead attorney in the case and argued it before the Ninth Circuit.

“One of reasons the NRA thought this was a good case to bring was precisely the combination of California state law banning open carry and San Diego policy on licensing for concealed carry made it quite definitive that an ordinary, lawful citizen with an interest in self defense couldn't carry no matter what,” Mr. Clement told me in an interview late Thursday.

“This decision is a very significant case because most of the courts of appeals have upheld the carry laws,” the former solicitor general during the Bush administration explained.

“Once the Supreme Court said in Heller and McDonald that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms, then you can no longer expect business as usual.”

This is the strongest, most throughly documented ruling at the federal appeals court level in opposition to the controversial laws on restricting carry in “may issue” states. The two majority judges said their view was “akin” to the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation in Moore v. Madigan, which overturned the ban on all carry rights in Illinois in Dec. 2012.

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