Supreme Court Declined Conceal Carry Case

Peruta v San Diego County

This article was adapted from an article on news.ghostguns.com here.

The United States Supreme Court declined to hear Peruta v. San Diego (a conceal carry case), which involved San Diego resident Edward Peruta, who challenged his county’s decision to deny him permission to carry a concealed firearm outside his house. Despite the support of two Supreme Justice Members — Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch (the newest member) — the case was rejected due to a policy that a case needs to be approved by at least four justices in order to get on the Supreme Court’s docket.

United States Justice Clarence Thomas, frustrated and disappointed in his colleagues, made the following statements; “For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous, but the Framers made a clear choice:  they reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a state denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

Justice Thomas continues, “The Second Amendment’s core purpose further supports the conclusion that the right to bear arms extends to public carry, even if other Members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry, the time has come for the Court to answer this important question definitively.”

“The whole point of the sheriff’s policy is to confine concealed-carry licenses to a very narrow subset of law-abiding residents, and because California law prohibits openly carrying a handgun outside the home, the result is that the typical law-abiding resident cannot bear a handgun for self-defense outside the home at all.”

“The Second Amendment’s core purpose further supports the conclusion that the right to bear arms extends to public carry, even if other Members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry, the time has come for the Court to answer this important question definitively.”

Brief Synopsis of Peruta v. San Diego County

Under San Diego’s policy, a “‘typical’ citizen in San Diego County cannot bear arms in public for self-defense” because by San Diego’s definition, typical citizens cannot ‘”distinguish [themselves] from the mainstream'” and receive concealed carry permits. (Peruta v. San Diego (9th Cir, 02-13-14) p. 54.) Although prior to January 1, 2012, it was legal to openly carry an unloaded handgun in public, in October 2011 Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that modifies the law on openly carrying an unloaded firearm to match the restrictions for openly carrying a loaded weapon, effectively prohibiting (in all but limited circumstances) the open carry of firearms whether loaded or unloaded. (Cal. Pen. Code §§ 25850, 26155.)

Thus, the court found San Diego County’s restrictive policy in combination with California’s denial of open carry ultimately resulted in the destruction of the typical law-abiding, responsible citizen’s right to bear arms in any manner in public, thereby violating the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. More information about Peruta vs. San Diego can be found here.

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