Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

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
National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

America lost a civil rights icon and a true free thinker with the death of Roy Innis on Jan. 8. For the NRA, his departure was personal. Mr. Innis served on the NRA’s Board of ...

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

On January 10 and 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Throughout his distinguished career in public service, ...

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

The FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report earlier this week and the bad news is that violent crime increased for the second consecutive year.

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

News  

Hunting  

Monday, January 9, 2017

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and John Carter (TX-31) on Monday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that gives gun owners and sportsmen ...

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

News  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

Do you look back on your college years and remember the impassioned debates, when disagreements over the Periodic Table of Elements, theories of supply and demand, or the status of Pluto as a planet could ...

California: Pre-Litigation Demand Letter sent to DOJ opposing “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” Regulations

Monday, January 9, 2017

California: Pre-Litigation Demand Letter sent to DOJ opposing “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” Regulations

Today, NRA and CRPA’s legal team submitted a joint-letter to DOJ demanding that DOJ withdraw their regulations as a violation of the authority granted under the law.  NRA and CRPA’s legal team also submitted a ...

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.