The National Rifle Association is coming to the aid of a gun owner in San Diego County, who was denied a permit to carry a concealed weapon by the sheriff''s department.
According to the Associated Press on April 5, the powerful gun lobby is lending its legal team to Edward Peruta, who was denied a concealed weapons permit and was charged with gun crimes after he was mistakenly linked to the theft of assault weapons from a military base near Fresno, California.
The NRA is taking their message of gun rights into the courtroom, bolstered by a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision that re-enforce the Second Amendment of the Constitution that gives Americans the right to keep guns in their home.
Most of the lawsuits the NRA is getting involved in is in California, which has some of the nation's strictest gun control laws. The NRA is fighting to expand gun rights to outside the home, where the gun lobby is joining gun owners in California in challenging restrictions that block permission to carry concealed weapons in public.
Peruta filed his lawsuit in 2009 after the San Diego sheriff's office rejected his application for a weapons permit because he failed to show he had a valid reason to carry his weapon outside of his home. Peruta told the AP:
"I'm not a hunter. I'm not a collector or a target shooter. I'm not a gun crazy. But I want to protect myself."
In 2010, a federal judge refused to throw out Peruta's case, which allowed the NRA to step in and handle the case for him.
But the NRA could be fighting a losing battle, as federal judges have upheld similar bans in San Francisco and Sunnyvale, a Bay Area suburb 40 miles south of San Francisco.