Monday, April 17, 2017


by Bob Walsh

SCOTUS is about to conference on whether or not to hear a truly major Second Amendment case, with new Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch sitting on the bench.

The case, Peruta v. California. will decide whether or not the Second Amendment grants law-abiding citizens the right to carry handguns outside of their homes for self-defense, including concealed carry where open carry is prohibited by law. At one time CA had a de-jure open carry law, though in large cities, such as LA and SF, open carry usually resulted in the person being arrested for disturbing the peace and his or her weapon disappearing into evidence, requiring a lawsuit to retrieve it. Often when it was retrieved it was badly damaged in storage.

Edward Peruta and others in San Diego county were routinely denied carry permits by the San Diego S.O., and the law was changed to prohibit open carry of both hand guns and long guns, leaving gun owners who wished to carry NO legal options.

Peruta initially won his point, but a panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (the most overturned court in the country) reversed the original ruling and stated that the San Diego S.O. policy was in fact constitutional. Earlier this week the Ninth U.S. Circuit decided to reconsider their earlier ruling.

The CA statute requires that the applicant show "good cause" in order to get as permit. That phrase is interpreted widely differently in different locations. In L.A. and S.F. there is pretty much no such thing as good cause. In many of the cow counties the desire to protect yourself is considered good cause.

Assuming SCOTUS takes the case it could be the most significant case on the Second Amendment since Heller. The D.C. vs. Heller case determined law abiding citizens DO have the right to keep a firearm at home for self defense.

Since Heller SCOTUS has refused to rule on an Illinois case which bans "assault weapons" and "large capacity magazines" but did rule in favor of gun owners in McDonald v. Chicago, which extended Heller protection with regard to city and state governments.

Gorsuch has not ruled extensively on Second Amendment cases, but in 2012 he did write that "the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly."

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