Are California’s concealed carry requirements too strict?

June 16, 2015

handgunA federal appeals court in San Francisco is hearing arguments Tuesday on whether California’s restrictions on concealed carry permits can stand the test of the Second Amendment. [Wall Street Journal]

In California, applicants who wish to carry concealed handguns in public must show they have good cause before receiving permits. California is one of several states that grant local authorities the power to use broad discretion when denying concealed carry permits.

Plaintiffs sued San Diego and Yolo counties, as well s their sheriffs, in 2010 and 2011 respectively over concealed carry permit requirements. In both counties, the sheriffs said concern for one’s personal safety is not alone justification for receiving a concealed-carry permit

The plaintiffs in each case argued that the “good cause” requirement places too large of a burden on one’s right to self defense.

Trial courts sided with the counties in both cases, but a three-judge federal appeals panel reversed the rulings. Early this year, the court voted to consolidate the cases and have an 11-judge panel hear them.

Tuesday’s hearing will take place before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Eight of the 11 judges on the panel were appointed by Democratic presidents.

Alan Gura, an attorney representing the Yolo County plaintiffs says the case is about the Second Amendment.

“The Second Amendment confers a fundamental right,” Gura said. “We don’t live in a country where the police decide whether we have a good enough reason to exercise that right.”

Adam Skaggs, senior counsel with Everytown for Gun Safety, which filed a court brief in support of California’s law, said the state’s concealed carry requirements allow local officials to confront gun violence.

“These are local officials on the front lines of efforts to confront gun violence who know best how to keep communities safe,” Skaggs said. “The decision California has made to vest discretion and authority with these officials in light of that makes a lot of sense.”



  1. Slowerfaster says:

    Just the latest in the pantheon of reactionary gun violence facilitated by gun ownership in wrong hands.

    Meanwhile, top Police Executives list home-grown Anti-Government Extremism in the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdictions .

    (-6) 8 Total Votes - 1 up - 7 down
    • SamLouis says:

      You’re simply upset that more and more people are waking up to the fact that “gun control” does not work.

      Your comments make me smile…

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Hoplophilia is a learned behavior, although it may coexist with other mental defects or disorders.

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. mkaney says:

    The future is in airguns.. There are now air rifles available in calibers like .357 capable of 800 ft lbs. It is only a matter of time before such power is available in handgun form, and all still mostly under the radar of extensive legal regulation.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. Slowerfaster says:

    US more violent than 95 other countries ( out of 162 ). .

    Take a look at the map and graphs for comparison.
    Is it any wonder with the attitudes expressed with such blithe certainty and indifference here ?

    (-13) 17 Total Votes - 2 up - 15 down
    • Kevin Rice says:

      Good reason to carry, isn’t it.

      (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • SamLouis says:

      Too bad there’s no correlation between violence and gun control laws.

      There are more guns in the USA than ever, yet violence continues to drop, year after year.

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • mkaney says:

      There is, however, little correlation between gun ownership by country and homocides by country.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  4. cosmos7 says:

    Unfortunately the cases being made are largely irrelevant, since the game is rigged from the get-go. The original decision was a freak accident and decided by two judges with some common sense. The lone dissent in that 3-judge panel is now presiding over the appeal, and he made sure to stack the deck with his pals to make sure the original decision is overturned.

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
    • SamLouis says:

      I have little doubt that gun owners’ rights will ultimately be upheld, but it’s going to take a long time and ultimately the intervention of the US Supreme Court.

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
      • mkaney says:

        That is demonstrating a great deal of faith in a government which has thus far not demonstrated a very good track record in protecting these rights. Unfortunately, this is mostly felt by disenfranchised and judged groups in society (drug dealers, for example) and therefore most people do not care about those violations of rights or see it as a problem.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  5. CentralcoastRN says:

    As a Californian, I have GREAT cause. Our borders are as porous as a sponge, registered sex offenders, rapists, and murderers are quietly released in to our neighborhoods, and our government allows it to continue.

    We cannot control the actions of other people. A criminal who wants a gun will find a gun if they want one bad enough. The law abiding citizens of California should be able to carry a weapon on their person if they have taken proper training courses and are deemed safe to handle the weapon.

    As a side note, a “militia” back in the constitution did not have to mean an army. It was simply every able bodied citizen who could fight. The Constitution sought to protect the citizen’s right to keep their weapons so that the government could never have absolute power.

    (36) 48 Total Votes - 42 up - 6 down
    • cosmos7 says:

      Don’t you know how CCW works in this state? You are not a celebrity. You are not a police crony. You are not a big contributor to the sheriff’s re-election campaign. We need to keep the people safe, and certainly can’t have people the likes of you training and carrying a weapon to protect yourself. Denied, peon.

      (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down
      • SamLouis says:

        Actually it would depend in which county you lived.

        (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
        • cosmos7 says:

          That is certainly true. However most of our state’s population lives in counties where the above is true (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Barbara), as opposed to the virtually shall-issue counties (Fresno, San Bernardino, Sacramento, Yolo, etc).

          (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      So, what do the words “well regulated” impart ?

      No …not a standing army, but a lot more than a rag-tag self appointed group or individuals that think they have more “rights” than the community.

      (-15) 27 Total Votes - 6 up - 21 down
      • SamLouis says:

        “…that think they have more “rights” than the community…”

        The community?

        What are you babbling about?

        (10) 22 Total Votes - 16 up - 6 down
        • Slowerfaster says:

          I guess I’m ‘babbling’ about the concepts contained in the ENTIRE Constitution concerning the rights, privileges, and RESPONSIBILITES towards the commons.

          Clearly a document you have not read in its completeness, if at all.

          (-11) 11 Total Votes - 0 up - 11 down
          • Moderator says:

            Everyone, Debate without the personal insults.

            (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
          • SamLouis says:

            Do you honestly think the majority of “the community” shares your anti-gun views? Obviously they don’t or they would have tried to amend the Second Amendment rather than play the games they do.

            (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  6. Perspicacious says:

    Very interesting that the same people arguing that police are thugs who shoot “innocent” victims and need to be disarmed are on the side of the law enforcement folks who want to disarm the public too.

    (12) 20 Total Votes - 16 up - 4 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      It is also very interesting that MANY of the same people who want to keep the right to bear arms are in blind support of law enforcement and federal agencies who want to have the means available to suppress rights of all kinds for their own convenience. It is possible to be “liberal” about other rights (i.e. the fourth amendment rights which form the basis for privacy from government surveillance and fifth amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination) and still support the right to bear arms.

      I am tired of both sides’ insistence on characterizing this as a “Liberal” vs. “Conservative” issue. It is (and should be) an issue about restricting government control — just like the other 9 amendments in the Bill of Rights. If you have unrestricted faith in the benevolence of government — at every level and no matter who is in charge — you should support gun control, government surveillance, “free speech” zones for protests, “cruel and unusual” punishment and other unconstitutional activities. If not, you should be very concerned about any restrictions like these.

      The founding fathers didn’t make themselves as clear on the issue of the “right to bear arms” as they should have in the Bill of Rights. (It was not the only — or even worse — mistake in the US Constitution which is why they included processes for amendments.) However, other writings on the subject by these men indicate that their primary concerns in adding the “Bill of Rights” prior to passage of the Constitution was to prevent abuse of power by government. These were men who went through a bloody revolution to escape an unresponsive and abusive regime and they wanted to make it more difficult for a future government to be abusive and unresponsive. They also wanted to make such a revolution possible for future generations should a future government get out of control.

      This is why I support Second Amendment rights. Hopefully that day of revolution will never come but the presence of an armed citizenry helps discourage those who would like to seize power from within. Most such people are in government for reasons of greed and ego. Armed revolts do not make for a profitable environment and also tend to make a statement about the competence and integrity of those who permitted government to get to a point where large numbers of citizens felt it necessary to revolt.

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  7. SamLouis says:

    Watch video of this case being argued in court. The states case is so very weak…

    (3) 15 Total Votes - 9 up - 6 down

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