Ninth Circuit Strikes California’s ‘Good Cause’ Carry Restriction

By Woody published on in Chronicle, General, Gun Rights, Industry News, Legal Issues, News, Second Amendment

California-based Michel & Associates represented the plaintiffs (gun owners) in the Peruta matter. Click here to see the history of the litigation.

California-based Michel & Associates represented the plaintiffs (gun owners) in the Peruta matter. Click here to see the history of the litigation on the firm’s website.

A surprising ruling out of the California-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the Second Amendment endows the right to carry a gun outside the home.

The Ninth Circuit’s three-judge panel in Peruta v. San Diego affirms the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public. San Diego County had denied lead plaintiff Edward Peruta and others a license to carry concealed, which, according to state law, requires residents to show “good cause” for carrying—personal safety alone does not qualify as good cause in California.

Did California’s “good cause” clause infringe on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms? The 2-1 opinion, written by Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, ruled that Peruta is entitled to summary judgment because the “good cause” provision violates the Second Amendment.

On page 53 of the decision, the court said, “ … [thus] the question is not whether the California scheme (in light of San Diego County’s policy) allows some people to bear arms outside the home in some places at some times; instead, the question is whether it allows the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen to bear arms in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The answer to the latter question is a resounding ‘no.’ …

“In California, the only way that the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen can carry a weapon in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense is with a concealed-carry permit. And, in San Diego County, that option has been taken off the table. The San Diego County policy specifies that concern for ‘one’s personal safety alone’ does not satisfy the ‘good cause’ requirement for issuance of a permit. Instead, an applicant must demonstrate that he suffers a unique risk of harm.”

And: “To be clear, we are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry. But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

San Diego County may petition for en banc review, which means the entire Ninth Circuit bench might rehear the case. For now, the decision rests with the district court, which may retry the case under the appellate court’s directions.

On the Volokh Conspiracy legal blog at the Washington Post, attorney and Second Amendment expert David Kopel wrote of the case, “Today’s decision creates a split of the Seventh and Ninth Circuits vs. the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits. The Peruta Court says that Circuits 2-4 erred by relying on cases which are, pursuant to Heller, incorrect, because those cases say that the only purpose of the Second Amendment is for the militia; Heller teaches that the Second Amendment right includes personal self-defense, and need not be connected to militia service.”

What do you think about the Ninth Circuit’s action? Tell us in the comment section.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (16)

  • Franco


    I think the ninth circuit ruling has little meaning in the long run.

    Further, the statute should have been struck as void for vagueness. Upon remand, expect a bullshit definition of “some form of carry” that will pass muster with this idiot court. Like maybe in a small safe attached to the hip, or with a trigger lock that can only be opened by the police….?

    I suggest moving to a state which believes in the Constitution. I’ll see you there.



  • G-Man


    @ Rick Grimes (Comment #7). And you are who the rest of us carry against for protection. Your comments demonstrate you do not possess the slightest ability to comprehend that ‘’’Roger’ up there” wasn’t opinionating; he was reciting the documented core foundation which defines the entire Second Amendment of which the rest of us already understand and has been solidified by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Roger accurately went on to state that when subordinate “legislatures, courts, judges, police, and attorneys” violate the rulings of a higher authority, that being our Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court, then they have committed an illegal act thus making them “law breakers”. This too is a legally accurate statement and not an opinion.

    Roger concludes by stating that if you [people] don’t fight their (legislatures, courts, judges, police, and attorneys) illegal activities, and instead choose to comply with their subordinate and unlawfully created rules, then you deserve the consequences.

    So why do we need to carry in defense of people like you? -Because of your degraded state of mental health. You noticeably suffer from a severe psychosis if you think it normal to take one of the most solidly grounded statements by an obvious patriot and grotesquely twist it into some connection to isolated court cases and Nazis. Worse is you categorize all Republicans as Nazis and then “call them viable targets”. You are the real danger.

    While others get heated in these forums, I must caution that your language has overstepped your bounds. Before you comment again, know that your dangerous statements which threaten an entire political class as “targets” actually falls under unlawful Intestate Communications per 18 U.S. 18 U.S. Code § 875 and additionally against each states cyber laws. Consider yourself warned.


  • Grif


    Just remember, the socialist politicians in office don’t want to take your guns so you can’t defend against crooks, they want to take them so you can’t defend against THEM. Every mass genocide and dictatorship is started by a government restricting or eliminating the ability of the common man to defend himself or herself, don’t believe me? Ask the Jews, ask the Ugandans, ask the Kurds, the Japanese back in the Samurai days when common men were not allowed to carry weapons), etc, etc. To end it, I will simply restate “It’s better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.”


  • Roger


    Thank you Franco. I tried imputing my response to “Rick” last night but could not get into the system. So here it is:

    Wow “Rick” try to relax…LOL. I don’t know who Dunn is and I am certainly not a Zimmerman. I don’t even carry a gun and never have. I’ve never been arrested, never been charged, never been convicted of any felony crime or misdemeanor. I got a parking ticket about three years ago and took it to court though.

    However, you have concluded that “people” like myself are the reason you carry a weapon. Apparently,you think I am one of the scum sucker, evil, bigot, greedy soulless waste of life, tuff guy, Nazi, republican who you want to use as a viable target…ha!

    Are you serious, because if you are, you might want to seek out some mental therapy?
    Or maybe you are just a government operative perhaps a legislator or judge who just can’t tolerate an American understanding his rights and expressing it to other Americans.


  • G-Man


    @ Roger (Comment #14). Just in case you missed it, I also addressed his (Rick Grimes) outrageous comments above (Comment #12). I am very serious about my warning to him regarding his choice of words to be construed as hate speech and a direct threat of violence upon a specific group of people.

    It’s one thing to get heated in here with a few choice words, and I’ve heard (read) it plenty, but I think this is the first time anyone has threatened an entire political class of people with lethal force.

    There is no way to know if Rick Grimes is just an ignoramus using tough talk to make idle threats and show he has his big-boy pants on or if he’s the real psychotic deal. And in this day and age who really knows anymore, so I may just need to forward this one to the FBI and let them handle it.


  • stevo


    It starts with the language “one of those” and ends with “viable targets”. Now i’d say that’s extreme and conjures up visions of the term “loose cannon”. And I generally steer clear of loose cannons and nonsensical extremists.

    Aside from the heated vitriol, I like reading the different points of view. A couple of points i’d make about picking up and moving because of some ill-conceived ideas of legislative, freak out gun control in California.

    1) It’s incomprehensible to think about quitting a good job, uprooting your life, selling all your belongings, property, and severing family ties to move to a “gun friendly” state. I’d love to do that because sometimes I believe CA doesn’t deserve my hard earned tax dollars. But when you reach a certain stage in life, that’s almost impossible to do. So alternatively…
    2) Those that can’t just pick up and move stay and fight with whatever means necessary to get a law or ordinance changed. CA is a beautiful state aside from being expensive and draconian towards its taxpayers in many cases. Study the case brought against the City and County of San Francisco (Jackson V CCSF). Complaint was brought in 2009 and the police code was partially amended to reflect the filing. City stepped over the line with a freak out gun control ordinance. A group of law abiding citizens were able to bring forth this complaint and particular section of the police code regarding keeping and using firearms in self-defense was changed. Good for them, and good for law abiding gun owners everywhere.


Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

6 − three =