Update on the Right to Carry a Concealed Weapon
In the recent case of Edward Peruta vs. County of San Diego, 10-56971, (February, 2014), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held a private citizen may carry a firearm in public for self-defense pursuant to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
As a general rule, one previously could not carry a concealed weapon in California unless an application was first submitted to the County Sheriff’s Department and the right to do so was granted. One had to show good moral character and establish good cause after completion of a gun training class. In San Diego County, however, good cause has been strictly construed. In fact, establishing that one is concerned about their own personal safety would not suffice. The Sheriff has required one to prove a sufficiently pressing need for self-protection different than the mainstream population. In order to obtain a concealed carry weapon permit (CCW) in San Diego, one heretofore had to prove a unique risk of harm
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded the right to bear arms within the Second Amendment affords one the right to carry a concealed weapon outside of their home for self-defense. In doing so, the Court determined the interpretation of good cause by the Sheriff in San Diego County infringed that right. This is a significant victory for gun owners. Nonetheless, the current policy and procedures will, likely not change due to an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court that will no doubt be filed by officials of San Diego County.