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
Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Apprentice Hunting Legislation into Law

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Apprentice Hunting Legislation into Law

Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 1427 into law.

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Last week, attorneys on behalf of the NRA filed an amicus brief in Kitsap County v. Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (Kitsap II), the case which challenges Kitsap County’s firearm discharge ban and range licensing scheme.  Kitsap Rifle and ...

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Friday, May 26th is the deadline for the fiscal committees to pass bills to the floor from the chamber of origin.  On Thursday, May 25, the Senate AppropriationsCommittee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 464 and Senate Bill 497. ...

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

Last week, the Senate Committee of the Whole referred an amended version of House Bill 2278 back to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 25, at 12:00 pm (PT), NRA’s legal team will be hosting a free webinar to discuss the recently submitted “assault weapon” regulations.   

Alabama: Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Alabama: Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Last Friday, May 19, the Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die.  During this session, Senate Bill 24, the constitutional/permitless carry bill, passed the Senate but failed to make it to the House floor for a vote ...

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

The Illinois House of Representatives may consider Senate Bill 1657, legislation that could put your local gun dealer out of business, at any time! It is imperative that you contact your state Representative IMMEDIATELY and ...

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.

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.