NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Coast-to-Coast Action in Right-to-Carry Cases

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just a week before December’s NRA victory in Shepard v. Madigan, the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments against the abuse of California’s permitting structure by local authorities. The NRA-backed case of Peruta v. County of San Diego targets San Diego County, and Richards v. Prieto (a non-NRA case) challenges the practices of Yolo County. 

At issue in both cases is the California law that says a resident may only receive a carry license if he or she shows “good cause.” Issuing authorities such as county sheriffs or police chiefs have significant leeway in how “good cause” is interpreted, with some officials granting nearly every permit when the applicant passes a background check, and others imposing a nearly impossible standard. Further burdening the right, in 2011, California banned the unlicensed open carry of unloaded handguns, making it impossible to legally carry a handgun in any condition for self-defense outside the home without a license.

Representing Peruta was former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement. Clement argued that in Heller, the Supreme Court clearly did not limit the right to self-defense to the home. He went on to explain in detail the court’s analysis of the right to “bear” arms. For instance, the Supreme Court stated in Heller that the Second Amendment would not prevent restrictions on carrying firearms in “sensitive places,” implying that there must be some right to do so in places that are not “sensitive.” The attorney for San Diego responded by claiming there is a strong government interest in restricting carry outside the home due to the “deadly nature” of firearms—an argument epitomized by his statement that “a handgun with a couple of clips is a weapon of mass destruction.”

Also heard before the Ninth Circuit were arguments in Baker v. Kealoha, which challenges Hawaii’s near-complete ban on the issuance of concealed carry permits. Hawaii’s statute says that concealed carry permits shall be issued only “in an exceptional case” or “where urgency or need has been sufficiently indicated,” and gives police chiefs arbitrary power to decide whose case is “exceptional.” (In practice, no permits are ever issued, a fact that the government’s attorney carefully dodged during the argument.)

Meanwhile, just a week earlier and on the other side of the country, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Nov. 27 rejected a challenge to New York’s requirement—similar to California’s—that permit applicants have “proper cause” to get an unrestricted carry license. (That decision was in the non-NRA case of Kachalsky v. County of Westchester.) While the Second Circuit noted that “[t]he plain text of the Second Amendment does not limit the right to bear arms to the home,” it concluded that the right is more limited outside the home and that the “proper cause” requirement is “substantially related to New York’s interests in public safety and crime prevention.”

Finally, on March 21, a three judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided another non-NRA case, Woollard v. Sheridan. In that case, the state of Maryland appealed a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland striking down the state’s requirement that a permit applicant have “good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.” Maryland authorities do not traditionally consider self-defense a “good or substantial” reason to carry. NRA submitted a “friend of the court” brief in the case to make clear that “[b]ecause it almost completely forecloses the right to carry handguns for self-defense outside the home, Maryland’s statute is in conflict with the Second Amendment.”

Unfortunately, the panel ruled in favor of the state, overturning the district court’s decision. Writing the opinion, Judge Robert Bruce King argued that the federal district court applied too high a standard of review to Maryland’s law, and that if the law was examined in the way the appeals court preferred, the “State has demonstrated that the good-and-substantial-reason requirement is reasonably adapted to Maryland’s significant interests in protecting public safety and preventing crime.” A request for review by the full Fourth Circuit was denied on April 16.

With all of these cases pending, the coming weeks and months will surely bring significant rulings that affect every American’s right to self-defense outside the home. No matter the result, the NRA will continue to fight in the courts and in the state legislatures to protect the right to self-defense recognized in Heller and so articulately described by Judge Posner in the Seventh Circuit’s Shepard ruling.

TRENDING NOW
California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Monday, September 26, 2016

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Today, Governor Brown made his decision on the final firearm-related bills of the 2016 legislative session that made it to his desk.   Governor Brown vetoed two anti-gun bills, AB 450 and SB 1332, and signed ...

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

Show your support for NRA and the Second Amendment this election cycle by purchasing an NRA yard sign.  With everything that is at stake this year, including the Presidency, the balance of the U.S. Senate ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

With the presidential race tighter than ever as it heads into its final stretch, panicked Hillary Clinton supporters are desperate to find a way to discredit, not just Donald Trump, but anyone who would dare ...

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

On Monday, September 26, the Missoula City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would only create a burden for law-abiding citizens and may turn them into criminals if they unknowingly violate the ordinance.

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

Take Action  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

For a limited time only, the official NRA Store is offering a special deal to anyone who downloads the NRA-ILA App! Once the app is installed on your smartphone, you’ll receive a discount code that you can ...

Not The Victim Hillary Needs

News  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not The Victim Hillary Needs

This feature appears in the October ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association. “Why can’t everyone just have their DNA on file? Then it would ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Hunting  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Next week, and important pro-hunting reform bill, Senate Bill 737, may be considered in the House of Representatives.  Please call your state Representative and urge them to vote in favor of Senate Bill 737!

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

Friday, September 23, 2016

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

This is the last weekend to sign the referendum petitions! Signatures are still needed to ensure each of the Veto Gunmageddon Referendums qualify for the 2018 ballot.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.