In 2009, several Plaintiffs sued the county of San Diego claiming that requiring a concealed carry permit holder be “of good moral character” and “provide sufficient cause” was an infringement of their second amendment rights. The general term for these types of restrictions is more easily understood using the common terms for them. Most states abide by a “shall issue” policy, which means anyone who meets the requirements (approved training program, no criminal record, etc…) will be issued a concealed carry permit if they apply.
States like California, New York, and a few others have adopted what is called a “may issue” policy. A “may issue” policy delegates the authority to issue a concealed carry permit to the authority of the local Sheriff. In San Diego County, this has resulted in a very low issue rate. Since, the determining factors to consider are delegated to the judgment of the local Sheriff, he or she may use any criteria he or she chooses when deciding whether or not to issue a concealed carry permit. This results in a widely varying standard of approval.
The majority 2:1 ruling at the 9th Circuit Court has overturned previous lower court rulings that this does not constitute unreasonable infringement. The dissenting view complains that by making the decision “the majority not only strikes down San Diego County’s concealed carry policy, but upends the entire California firearm regulatory scheme”. It is the one portion of his argument with which I agree. The rest is an attempt to cherry pick select portions of the Heller and MacDonald decisions and patch them together. With a selected set of disjointed and irrelevant precedents this would allow the concept of a “may issue” policy to stand.
This finding is significant, and it is great news for the rights of all Californians. It may eventually force California to change the policy. That said, it will not happen overnight, and in fact it will probably take years. San Diego County will certainly appeal and will apply for a delay in order to establish new policies and procedures. They will get it. The state will say they need time to study the issue, etc… and it will be years before we see anything resembling action on the subject. The only exception to that delay is if the local sheriffs, of their own volition, choose to adopt a policy of issue in line with what is likely to the future mandate – Shall Issue.
What the anti gun lobby has pursued very successfully is establishing a patchwork of state, county and city laws that in many places that make carrying a concealed weapon for self defense impractical, if not illegal. “Gun Free Zones” and allowing private business to disallow carry on their property are examples. They continue to aggressively fund lawmakers to pursue theses restrictive policy’s at the city, county and state level. The ultimate goal of denying enough people of their rights is that they forget or no longer care about them. In California and New York this has proven effective and many of our fellow citizens don’t even know they can own a gun in this state!
This decision is great step forward in gun rights. Ultimately, it is the Supreme Court that will decide how this plays out. It should be decided in congress, but our lawmakers are far too cowardly to pursue anything of value to the people. They have consistently failed to create a federal standard, and ultimately, the Supreme Court will be left with the job of arbitrating every one of theses cases. Since it really is not the Courts job to create olicy, they have refused to hear all but the most egregious intrusions into citizens rights and effectively leave the patchwork in place. This appeal by San Diego may well make it to the Supreme Court. What they do with it is anyone’s guess!
You can find the Peruta decision here!
All in all, great news today!
~ Patrick Henry
#concealedcarrypermit, #concealedcarry, #CCW