The 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that the San Diego County Sheriff’s requirement that an applicant for a CCW license must show “good cause” in order to get a permit violates the applicants’ 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The plaintiffs in this case are not able to show specific threats to themselves that might satisfy the Sheriff, but rely upon their general desire to be able to effectively defend themselves from criminal attack. The applicants place one argument at center stage: they assert that by defining “good cause” in San Diego County’s permitting scheme to exclude a general desire to carry for self-defense, the County impermissibly burdens their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The Court applied a two-step approach in deciding whether the requirement of “good cause” violates the 2nd Amendment. First, whether carrying concealed handguns in public amounted to“keep[ing] and bear[ing] Arms” within the meaning of the Second Amendment and, next, whether the challenged laws, if they indeed did burden this constitutionally protected conduct, “infringed” the right.
Finding that the right to “bear” means the right to “carry,” the Court holds that the restrictions placed on obtaining a concealed carry license in California infringe the 2nd Amendment and are therefor unconstitutional.
The Court’s opinion is 127 pages long and I haven’t read it all yet, so there is likely much more to be said about it.