California is shaping up to be the next major battleground over the Second Amendment, as gun rights activists in the nation’s most populous state push for loosening concealed carry laws.
The state has some of the most restrictive such laws in the country. To get a permit to carry in public, you have to show “good cause” to a local official like a sheriff. In San Diego County, like a lot of urban areas, the sheriff set that bar high. Self-defense alone was not enough to count as “good cause” — you had to prove your life was in immediate danger or that you were carrying valuables, for example.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that San Diego’s policy is unconstitutional.
“They recognized that the Second Amendment is something that applies to everyone, not just a few individuals with some kind of a special need,” says Chuck Michel, the National Rifle Association’s West Coast counsel. “It’s not a privilege; it’s a right.”
California’s attorney general and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, however, are asking that the case be considered by the full 9th Circuit, not just the three-judge panel. Their request is pending.