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Peruta Et Al v. County of San Diego Et Al

Peruta Et Al v. County of San Diego Et Al

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Published by Doug Mataconis
Ruling of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Peruta Et Al v. County of San Diego Et Al holding California law on carrying firearms in public to be unconstitutional
Ruling of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Peruta Et Al v. County of San Diego Et Al holding California law on carrying firearms in public to be unconstitutional

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Published by: Doug Mataconis on Feb 14, 2014
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUITEDWARD PERUTA; MICHELLELAXSON; JAMES DODD; LESLIEBUNCHER, Dr.; MARK CLEARY;CALIFORNIA RIFLE AND PISTOLASSOCIATION FOUNDATION, Plaintiffs - Appellants, v.COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO; WILLIAMD. GORE, individually and in his capacityas Sheriff, Defendants - Appellees. No. 10-56971D.C. No. 3:09-cv-02371-IEG-BGSOPINIONAppeal from the United States District Courtfor the Southern District of CaliforniaIrma E. Gonzalez, Chief District Judge, PresidingArgued and Submitted December 6, 2012San Francisco, CaliforniaBefore: O’SCANNLAIN, THOMAS, and CALLAHAN, Circuit Judges.O’SCANNLAIN, Circuit Judge:We are called upon to decide whether a responsible, law-abiding citizen hasa right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.
FEB 13 2014
IACalifornia generally prohibits the open or concealed carriage of a handgun,whether loaded or unloaded, in public locations.
 Cal. Penal Code § 25400(prohibiting concealed carry of a firearm);
 § 25850 (prohibiting carry of aloaded firearm);
§ 26350 (prohibiting open carry of an unloaded firearm);
 seealso id.
 § 25605 (exempting the gun owner’s residence, other private property, and place of business from section 25400 and section 26350). Nonetheless, one may apply for a license in California to carry a concealedweapon in the city or county in which he or she works or resides.
 §§ 26150,26155. To obtain such a license, the applicant must meet several requirements. For example, one must demonstrate “good moral character,” complete a specifiedtraining course, and establish “good cause.”
 §§ 26150, 26155.
 There are a few narrow exceptions to this rule. Armored vehicle guardsand retired federal officers may carry a loaded firearm in public without meetingstringent permitting requirements.
Cal. Penal Code § 26015 (armored vehicleguards);
§ 26020 (retired federal officers). And a citizen may carry a loadedfirearm in public if: (1) he is engaged in the act of attempting to make a lawfularrest; (2) he is hunting in locations where it is lawful to hunt; or (3) he facesimmediate, grave danger provided that the weapon is only carried in “the brief interval” between the time law enforcement officials are notified of the danger andthe time they arrive on the scene (where the fleeing victim would obtain a gunduring that interval is apparently left to Providence).
§ 26040 (hunting);
 §26045 (immediate, grave danger);
 § 26050 (attempting to make a lawful arrest).2
California law delegates to each city and county the power to issue a written policy setting forth the procedures for obtaining a concealed-carry license.
 §26160. San Diego County has issued such a policy. At issue in this appeal is that policy’s interpretation of the “good cause” requirement found in sections 26150and 26155: “[A] set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from themainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way.” Good cause is“evaluated on an individual basis” and may arise in “situations related to personal protection as well as those related to individual businesses or occupations.” But—important here—concern for “one’s personal safety alone is not consideredgood cause.”The power to grant concealed-carry licenses in San Diego County is vested in the county sheriff’s department. Since 1999, the sheriff’s department hasrequired all applicants to “provide supporting documentation” in order “todemonstrate and elaborate good cause.” This “required documentation, such asrestraining orders, letters from law enforcement agencies or the [district attorney]familiar with the case, is discussed with each applicant” to determine whether he or she can show a sufficiently pressing need for self-protection. If the applicantcannot demonstrate “circumstances that distinguish [him] from the mainstream,”then he will not qualify for a concealed-carry permit.3

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