Court: No right to carry concealed weapons in public

Composite image, St. George News

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dealing a blow to gun supporters, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public.

In a dispute that could ultimately wind up before the Supreme Court, a divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said local law enforcement officials can place significant restrictions on who is allowed to carry concealed guns.

By a vote of 7-4, the court upheld a California law that says applicants must supply a “good cause” to obtain a concealed-carry permit. People who are being stalked or threatened, celebrities who fear for their safety, and those who routinely carry large amounts of cash or other valuables are often given permits.

The ruling overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the same court that said applicants need only express a desire for personal safety.

The 9th Circuit’s rulings are binding in nine Western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Only two other federal appeals courts have taken up the issue — in cases out of New York and Maryland — and both ruled the way the 9th Circuit did.

The National Rifle Association called the ruling “out of touch.”

“This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection,” said NRA legislative chief Chris W. Cox.

The New York-based gun control organization Everytown welcomed the decision as “a major victory for public safety.”

The 9th Circuit decision arose from a lawsuit Edward Peruta filed challenging the San Diego County sheriff’s refusal to issue him a permit because he failed to cite a “good cause.” The sheriff required applicants to produce supporting documents, such as a restraining order against a possible attacker.

Peruta argued that the requirement violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Written by PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Knot June 9, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    In most places concealed carry isn’t permitted without a license. But, I guess they could be signaling for all gun owners to open carry.

    Of course, criminals aren’t concerned about this. They would rather we open carry so they know who to pick on.

    • Henry June 10, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Knot – I don’t think you’re right about the leftist states trying to get people to switch to open carry. 6 states (including CA, NY, TX, and FL) ban open carry, while 13 states require a permit for open carry. Many cities within open carry states, ban it within their city limits.

      I think CA and these other states are trying to make their concealed carry laws so restrictive that no average citizen can obtain a permit. Of course, there will always be a loophole for the security details of the elites to obtain their concealed carry licenses!

      The Supreme Court is evenly divided on gun control enfringement. Hillary Clinton has been very open about her desire for more gun control, and could be counted upon to nominate SC judges that support that. Donald Trump has a concealed carry permit himself, doesn’t support restrictive gun control, and provided a list of potential SC nominees that wouldn’t support gun control either. I hope that voters take this into account in November.

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