In a 2-1 decision published on Wednesday, a three-member panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District struck down much California’s strict concealed weapons permit law, saying it violates the Second Amendment of the United State Constitution. In Edward Peruta v. County of San Diego, the court ruled that the requirement to show good cause in order to be issued a permit is tantamount to denying most law-abiding citizens the right to carry a concealed weapon outside of their homes.
Assemblywoman Shannon Grove was quick to react with a comment on her Facebook page. “I applaud this three-judge panel ruling. The Second Amendment clearly states that we the people not only have a right to keep arms, but to also bear arms. It does not say we have a right to keep and bear arms only if the county sheriff says so. We must keep fighting to take back our liberties.”
Currently, state law allows local governments to require applicants to show they have good cause such as proof of a restraining order, a letter from a law enforcement agency or other such documentation. Simply wanting to defend oneself from unidentified future harm is not sufficient. The ruling will require counties to consider issuing permits to anyone who claims a need for self-protection as long as they are of good moral character, not a felon and not mentally ill.
Assemblyman Curt Hagman, who is running for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, kept the totality of the court’s decision in mind when reacting to the decision. “I applaud the court’s decision to uphold the Second Amendment and allow law abiding citizens the right to defend themselves. The decision is a victory for the Constitution and for law abiding gun owners. I also remain committed to efforts to keep violent criminals and the mentally ill from gaining access to firearms,” Hagman wrote in a text message.”
Two Assembly hopefuls also weighed in on the decision. Rick Roelle, who is running for the seat to be vacated by Tim Donnelly, wrote "I commend the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on upholding a constitutional right. Law-abiding citizens should never have their Second Amendment rights questioned."
Paul Chabot, who hopes to replace Assemblyman Mike Morrell, stressed the need for citizens to defend themselves. “I believe the public is safer when good people have the tools necessary to defend themselves from violent criminals. Allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons is an essential component to that principal.”
Attorneys for San Diego County plan to ask the full court for a rehearing. The decision will be on hold until then.