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NRA-Backed Case A Benchmark Win in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Peruta, et. al v.San Diego County Protects Right to Bear Arms in Public Places for Self-Defense

Fairfax, VA – The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit today ruled in favor of the right of law-abiding citizens in California to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense. California law allows local governments to issue concealed and open carry permits, but generally prohibits the carriage of handguns in public places. The San Diego County Sheriff’s office further restricts gun permits only to law-abiding citizens who can prove “good cause,” meaning they have to show they faced a specific threat to their safety above what the general public faces.

The court ruled San Diego County’s gun regulation scheme unconstitutional. Under the ruling, law-abiding citizens in California would be allowed to carry a handgun for self-defense in public places, not just in their homes.

In addition to supporting the case financially from the beginning, the National Rifle Association filed a friend of the court brief in support of the plaintiffs.

“No one should have to wait until they are assaulted before they are allowed to exercise their fundamental right of self-defense,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already affirmed our Constitutional right to Keep Arms, and today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the right to Bear Arms.  Our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not limited to the home,” concluded Cox.

From the Court Ruling:

Because the Second Amendment “confer[s] an individual right to keep and bear arms,” we must assess whether the California scheme deprives any individual of his constitutional rights. Heller, 554 U.S. at 595. 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.”

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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.