California has long standing law regarding the carrying of concealed weapons (CCWs) by its citizens. In many counties, citizens had to apply for a permit to the local county sheriff and show good cause. This is called a “may issue” rule in contrast to the “shall issue rule” operating in other states. In the majority of California counties it is difficult if not impossible for a regular citizen, who is not a former law enforcement officer, to be granted the right to carry concealed. Consequently, according to reports, less than 0.1% of California citizens have CCWs. It is only one of eight states allowing local government to CCW permits. In the shall issue states, denying a permit requires the denial to be based on a public safety risk such as a criminal or mental health history not on an arbitrary decision made by an elected official.
Today, in a landmark case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the rules today, saying the California rules are in direct conflict with the Second Amendment.
In 2011, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill banning open carry (meaning to wear an unloaded and holstered gun outside clothing) and aggravated gun rights advocates. Brown is quoted by Patrick McGreevy and Nicholas Riccardi in the LA Times on October 10, 2011,”Over the last few years, California is the only state where gun control laws are being enacted on a frequent basis…” Here is the LA Times Article
The Ninth Circuit was divided on its CCW ruling and noted, “the majority of nineteenth century courts agreed that the Second Amendment right extended outside the home and included, at minimum the right to carry an operate weapon in public for the purpose of lawful self-defense. Although some courts approved limitations on the manner of carry outside the home, none approved a total destruction of the right to carry in public.” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, speaking for the majority opinion added, “The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home foe the lawful purpose of self-defense. …To be clear, we are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry. But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”
Today’s decision will have far reaching impact, and possibly in particular on Drake v. Jerejian in New Jersey filed by the Second Amendment Coalition and the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Club. See related article: Amicus Brief In SAF’s Drake Case From Capitol Hill Signed By 34 Members