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Now to be honest the NRA media is trying to spin this a "a crushing blow to gun control" and a "big win" to the NRA.

In a nut shell, the 9th Circuit Court in CA over turned a small portion of CA's gun licensing laws as currently applied. ( )

More after the squiggle.

The law deals with carrying a gun (or boom stick) loaded, out side of the home concealed. The state does not allow "open carry", and concealed carry requires a permit.  (CA use to allow "unloaded open carry" but that was found to be basically useless for self defense, as the idea that you would be able to load your gun while under felony assault is only going to happen in the movies.  So the law was changed to bar all open carry.

The bar on open carry came about because the law provided for concealed carry.

In Peller v San Diego, the case being haled, the plaintiff did not challenge the whole law, just one small aspect of the law.

Not challneged is the requirements for safety training, a background check, storage, restrictions on where you can carry, mandatory registration, safety restrictions, and that you be a law abiding citizen - a person of "good moral character".  These are all issues that pass the Heller test - the reasonable restrictions government can impose to support the public good.

What was challenged was the requirement that a permit applicant show "good cause" to need a gun for defense in public.  This is not an issue in most of the state as "good cause" is seen by many to simply be that you fear being robbed.  But in San Diego the good cause basically was interpreted to mean the applicant is faced with current specific threats. (so you testify against the mob and have to wait three months for witness protection program to kick in, or your abusive ex broke out of jail saying they were going to hunt you down and kill you)

This standard was so restrictive that very few applications were ever approved.  Many of those that were, often went to the wealthy and well connected. (who have lawyers to jump through the hoops for them)  

The Court felt that the near total restrictions on the permit process violated Heller.  And it does.  You have a right, as Heller teaches, to have a gun for personal defense and have a right to reasonable expectation that you can get permission to have it through the permit process.

No, it does not say that directly, it says restrictions can't be total, have to be reasonable and not a total ban.

The Peruta decision does not strike down California’s statutes about licensing for the carrying of firearms. The decision simply says that the “good cause” requirement may not be interpreted in a manner that disable typical law-abiding citizens from being able to obtain carry permits. The state statute is fine; the way the statute was interpreted by many California jurisdictions is not.  

The simple fix is for California to tell local governments what "good cause" means.

So don't buy the pro-NRA media hype that gun control is about to be over turned in California. It is not.  But I guess since they are losing just about every battle they have to praise each minor technical win.

Originally posted to Drill Sgt K on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 08:36 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Firearms Law and Policy, California politics, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good analysis, thank you (15+ / 0-)

    There have been so many rulings lately, it's a lot to digest.  I agree with your analysis that this was a pretty narrow ruling and though the gun fan boys will want to spin this as a huge win, the fact is it's kind of quiet small ruling.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 08:52:12 PM PST

    •  The key point is how courts have not touched ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, wilderness voice

      the big boogie men of the gun control side: universal background checks, registration, type restrictions, prohibited carry areas, safety training, licensing rules, etc.

      As long as it is not a total ban, or de-facto ban, most restrictions are ok under the Constitution (and Heller ruling).

      Something to point out: No court has overturned a 100% background check requirement, registration, or type restrictions - "assault" weapons or "ghost guns" for example.  The NRA won't even challenge them - much to the angst of my IDPA friends who think "Vermont carry" should be the rule nationally.

      Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

      by DrillSgtK on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:38:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice analysis (7+ / 0-)

    Although it is hard to know what to think about what the panel plus have thought. Still the RKBA crowd once again loves them some George Bush and Reagan appointees

  •  Thank you for plain English (6+ / 0-)

    Have you seen any news about the other two similar cases? They were all heard by the same panel on Dec 6th.

    Edward Peruta, et al. v. County of San Diego, et al., No. 10-56971
    Adam Richards, et al. v. Ed Prieto, et al., No. 11-16255
    Christopher Baker v. Louis Kealoha, et al., No. 12-16258

    Peruta v San Diego - Attorney (all the documents in the Peruta case are available there)

    I made it through the majority opinion, but not the rest of it. As far as I can tell, this panel did the first historical analysis that Heller said they were leaving for another day. This Court went further than any other court so far, and interpreting Heller as guaranteeing a right to armed self defense beyond your own home.

    So we might have 7th & 9th Circuits against 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 10th Circuits?

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:23:31 PM PST

  •  This is bad news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    There are some states like Maryland and New Jersey that have no concealed carry at all. New Jersey uses "good cause" to issue concealed carry permits to no one. It's impossible to show good cause. And this helps New Jersey keep an overall relatively low murder rate despite having many very dangerous cities.

    The idea that Heller prevents "good cause" laws is taking Heller way further than it went. Heller and the Chicago case only prevent "total bans" -- Maryland and New Jersey allow guns in the home. Unlike the DC and Chicago bans. Heller didn't touch this issue.

    Now, of course, if this actually goes to the Supreme Court, the New Jersey and Maryland concealed carry bans/de-facto bans would be struck down. Because so would any gun law. By a 5-4 vote. What a nightmare.

    •  slipper - the issue is if NJ uses "good cause" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy, LilithGardener, KVoimakas

      to issue no permits then its a shame, what NJ has is a law against concealed carry. What the 9th circuit stated was that if you have a "good cause" statute the "cause" has to be reasonable, which means the standard has to be such that some permits will be issued.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 12:36:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It said that "good cause" provisions violated the 2nd Amendment. Not just using them as a too cute by half ban.

        The standard set was "A majority of law abiding citizens", that is, 50% +1 of-age non-criminals, must be able to obtain a permit.

    •  New Jersey's rate is not much different than Texas (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, coquiero, Neo Control

      It is higher than NY's, lower than OK and far lower than Illinois (which had a similar ban on guns and much stricter laws on hand guns)

      I've been trying to find the study I read in college last century (97 or 98) that showed violent crime was lower with good economic times and lower unemployment to include murder.  That the best way to lower murder rates and violent crime would be to improve the local economy, not tighten gun control.

      New Jersey and MD are facing challenges on the total ban effect. This case shows that Courts have accepted that registration, safety training, "good moral conduct", universal background checks, storage rules, and prohibited areas are ok.  But total ban on personal access to guns out side of the home is not.  Some restrictions are ok, but not total ban. (or for security guards, law enforcement, Private Investigator only)

      To avoid being struck down, like with CA, all they have to do is define the "good cause" in such a way that lets a majority of law abiding citizens to be able to carry --- AFTER a background check, safety training, registration, gun locks, etc.  At that point, why not? The issue is the crime committed with guns, not private gun ownership.  Background checks, safety training and registration lower accidents, crime, and suicides.  Criminals won't' be able to get guns as easily and we won't have a system that lets wealthy/connected have access to things working class can't.

      Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

      by DrillSgtK on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:31:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How does registration lower crime, accidents, and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon


        •  Simple…registration lets police... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero, WakeUpNeo, TheFern

          track who owns the gun.  Or who owned it last.

          Many times police can find the owner of the gun that last registered it but it has changed hands many times since then.

          So with registration they can know the gun found at the crime or connected with the crime belonged to Jane Doe, who just happens to be the girlfriend of John Smith who was at the scene, had fought with the victim and made threats against him.

          Criminals are less likely to use legally bought and registered guns in crimes because it ties them to the crime better.  

          Registration also allows the police to know who has a gun that now can't have one.  Until a person is convicted, there is no legal bar to gun ownership.  They get convicted and if the police can check the registration list, they can make sure the now-barred from ownership person turns them in.

          But keep in mind, it is not just Registration that stops crimes or makes the likelihood of being caught higher, it is the background checks that reduce the number of guns in illegal hands. (they go together)

          To reduce suicides, lets look at Connecticut.  Under state law, all hand guns and most rifles must be registered. Also under the law, if a person makes a statement of intent to harm themselves the police can preemptively temporary confiscate their firearms until an evaluation has been done by a qualified person.

          This is why Conn, rates as the 44th lowest suicide rates out of 50 states per 100,000. Other lower states are NY, RI, NJ, MD, Mass.  All states that have large registration requirements and laws that allow preemptive temporary confiscation.

          Accidents don't happen really.  They are negligent discharges to be accurate. Safety training reduces ND's.  Registration might help in that a person who follows the rules to register a gun, is more likely to follow the rules to keep guns locked up when not in use or to take the safety classes.  You know, being responsible gun owners.

          Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

          by DrillSgtK on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:00:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  5-4 Votes (0+ / 0-)

      Scalia got 4 other conservative justices to vote with him for Heller.  He really cares about this issue but the other 4, a couple of whom aren't even the same people, don't seem to really care.  It's not at all clear that a pro-gun decision would get 5 votes now, which is probably why SCOTUS hasn't taken up other cases.

      Mandatory Gun Insurance would provide for victims, encourage safety and not be an excessive burden on gun owners. How to do it at Gun Insurance Blog. I also make posts at Huffington as Tom Harvey.

      by guninsuranceblog on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 06:05:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shall issue vs May issue (11+ / 0-)

    California is a May Issue state.   As in the Sheriff "may issue" a permit if he damn well feels like it.  The good cause clause was put in for them to point at something other than their own feelings or political pressure as to why they wont issue a permit.

    In a shall issue state the sheriff has no choice.  Do you meet all the requirements? yes? Here is your permit.   In a May issue state like California meeting all of the requirements is just step A.  Step B is actually having a reason and if the Sheriff does not like it he does not have to give you a permit even if you meet all of the requirements (paperwork, psych eval, training, no record, etc).    Step B just got struck down.    

    The diarist is a bit off in his analysis.  This will basically change California from a may issue state to a shall issue state by eliminating the single rule put in place to give the county sheriff a decision.    

    This is a huge win for gun rights.  

    But with full gun registration and more in place this year... just because you soon might easily be able to get a gun permit in California does not change the fact that they are going to do everything they can to restrict your ability to use it to defend yourself.    For example: firing a gun in public is a crime.  

  •  Compare and contrast (6+ / 0-)

    To this diary.

    Seriously, it should not matter if you are pro- or anti-, any law whose implementation is demonstrably slanted to favor the rich, famous and well-connected is something that liberals should be happy to see knocked down.

    •  absurd (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, coquiero

      the "rich, famous and well-connected" have advantages over other citizens with regards to the implementation of ANY law, because they have access to the best lawyers (see Simpson, OJ). So by this logic, we should just give up on the whole concept of things being illegal.

      "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

      by GrimReefa on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:18:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, coquiero

        when the rich, famous and well connected are the ONLY ones who can get a favorable ruling under the law it is wrong.

        Having some advantage over others due to skill, wealth, or access is not reason to scrap a law.  As long as the average person can get equal application of the law as the rich, then the law is ok on that ground.

        Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

        by DrillSgtK on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:02:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of hype (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blackhand, KVoimakas, theatre goon

    I didn't see the phrase "big win" or "a crushing blow to gun control" anywhere in it, but this is the NRA's official press release on the matter.

    In fact, a Google search for "NRA" and "a crushing blow to gun control" brings up exactly 10 results at the time I typed this, and 8 of them were Daily Kos links and the top one was this diary...

    •  The hype I quoted came from Facebook shares (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as an amateur completive shooter (IDPA) I have many "friends" in the gun culture who shared those statements.

      However in the mainstream we see things like this: Federal court deals gun-grabbers a blow in San Diego concealed carry ruling - Washington Times (

      Did the 9th Circuit Court just kill gun control? - LA Times ( )

      This one could turn out to be a major win for gun rights in the courts. - Guns Save Lives (

      Ninth Circuit strikes California’s restrictive rule against licensed carry of handguns - Washington Post ( )

      NRA-Backed Case A Benchmark Win in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - from the NRA (

      So, no "crushing blow" in exactly those words in the press.  But from the gun nuts...

      Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

      by DrillSgtK on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:14:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a very favorable ruling for gun rights (4+ / 0-)

    As noted above it basically rules "shall issue" unconstitutional. The state can set requirements for training, background checks, etc... What they cannot do is make the decision to issue subjective. Here are the requirements, if you meet them, here is your permit. VERY good ruling.

    Doesn't mean we are done fighting in California, but it's a good start and a very significant precedent.

  •  I don't think you'll find many that would argue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, theatre goon

    against any and all training, background checks, etc (within the RKBA group anyway) in order to carry a permit.

    The fact that this ruling should bring Cali more in line with a majority of the states in the union is a good thing. It's an expansion of RKBA. The blood in the streets that was prophesied when Michigan passed shall issue failed to trickle. Same for Wisconsin. Same for the other states where shall issue was passed. Removing or restructuring "good cause" so it applies to more people is a rather significant blow towards Cali's anti-2A laws.

  •  It's a default win for gun rights. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, Neo Control, Kasoru

    To sum up....

    California has had a default position of people being not given permission to carry their handgun, unless they can convince the authorities. So of the entire population, only the fraction that can do the song and dance get the license.

    California now will have a default position of people being given permission to carry their handgun, unless they have run afoul of the law. So of the entire population, all can get the license except those who are prohibited.

    To put the shift into a form of another contested-access issue, so as to make the magnitude of it more clear....

    The law has a default position of people being free to access abortion services, unless in the instance of late term timing (and perhaps other stuff that I don't know). So of the entire population of carrying women, only a fraction are excluded.

    The evangelicals want a default position of women being NOT free to access abortion services, except for possibly in the rare instance of I-don't-know-what-would-qualify-for-them.

    The shift is fundamental. From "all have the right except for X" to "None have the right except those so favored" is a 180 degree change.

    The 9th circuit has slapped California's default gun-carry stance and spun the state around completely about-face. It wasn't a small thing.

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