9th Circuit Overturns San Diego Carry Policy: What it Means for Us

As most of our readers have probably seen, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a substantially troubling portion of California law on Thursday by ruling that San Diego is in violation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms by requiring applicants to provide “good reason” for their desire to carry a concealed firearm. Outside of the clear message this ruling sent to other municipalities in California, a few other key points were made by the court.

– States (and municipalities) must allow some form of legal carry that is accessible for all law-abiding citizens. This can be either concealed carry, open carry, or both, but the practice of legal carry cannot be banned or selectively restricted.

– Pages 69-72 of the ruling outline the court’s rejection of the “interest-balancing” that proponents of gun control often cite, even if subconsciously. Quoting the Heller decision, the court held that “the very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government… the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon”. Such a ruling confirms that the Second Amendment may not be attacked under the false pretense of ‘public safety interests’.

– Page 76 of the ruling emphasizes that the Second Amendment is not a “second-class” right. Often faithful gun control advocates like to claim that not all rights within the Bill of Rights are equal. These claims always lack support, but they are prevalent. The court has addressed this issue and hopefully we can consider it rightfully put to rest.

– Pages 75 and 76 do support the idea that certain gun control measures are acceptable. Although such statements often become twisted in efforts to push for more oppressive gun laws, the court notably fails to mention restrictions on certain types of firearms as being acceptable. This is in keeping with the Heller decision and its prohibition of banning whole classes of firearms.

– In a long passage from page 64 to page 69, the court reprimands previous appellate decisions’ failure to address the history of the Second Amendment. The 9th Circuit held that the previous appellate decisions relied on a “view of the Second Amendment that is and always has been incorrect”. In viewing the amendment as a militia right instead of an individual right, the previous courts erred in their decision. This assertion further solidifies the fact that courts must be cognizant of the historical meaning of the Second Amendment moving forward.

Now, there can be no doubt that the city of San Diego will fight this decision with great vigor. It is likely that this case, and others, will make their way to the United States Supreme Court before all is said and done. Still, this is a significant win for law-abiding gun owners and further reinforces the formidable groundwork previously established by the Heller and McDonald decisions.

The decision in full can be found here:

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/02/12/1056971.pdf

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