Today, November 26, California Attorney General (AG) Kamala Harris filed a request for en banc review of the Ninth Circuit’s denial of her request to intervene in the NRA supported case of Peruta v. San Diego, which produced a landmark decision striking down as a violation of the Second Amendment San Diego County Sheriff William Gore’s policy of refusing to issue licenses to carry firearms in public unless an applicant could demonstrate a special need for one.
The AG’s latest request comes after the Court denied the AG’s and several gun ban advocacy groups’ requests to join the case once they learned Sheriff Gore had decided not to further appeal the case. The anti-gun rights groups have also filed a similar request for en banc review of the Ninth Circuit's denial of their requests to intervene in the case.
If Harris is successful in overturning the Court’s order and is allowed to intervene in the Peruta case, all Ninth Circuit judges will then vote on whether to re-hear the Peruta case itself before an 11 judge en banc panel. If they decide to do so, the panel will either uphold the current decision supporting the Second Amendment or overturn it. The court could, however, simply vote not to rehear the case, thereby allowing the three-judge panel decision to stand.
It is unknown how long the court may take to rule on these current requests from the AG and the gun ban lobby. The NRA attorneys have prepared and posted an explanation of the en banc review process online that describes the various potential permutations in the court’s review process. Whatever the Ninth Circuit might end up doing if it allows the Attorney General into the case, either side would almost certainly petition a loss to the United States Supreme Court.
Even if the Court denies Harris’s latest request, pending requests for en banc review in similar cases that benefitted from the work done in the Peruta case could potentially imperil the Peruta ruling. Both the County of Yolo, California, in the case of Richards v. Yolo County, and the State of Hawaii, in the case of Baker v. Kealoha, have already petitioned for en banc review of the Ninth Circuit’s rulings in those cases, which essentially hold that they lose because of Peruta. If those petitions for review are granted, the Peruta opinion will be in jeopardy of being overturned, just as if the Peruta opinion itself was being reviewed by the Court.
Stay tuned to www.NRAILA.org for more up to the minute developments as this important case progresses.
Help Support the Cause by Donating to the NRA
You can assist in the fight to defend gun owners’ rights in California courts by donating to the NRA Legal Action Project today. For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the tremendous recent victory in the Peruta case click here. Second Amendment supporters should be careful about supporting litigation efforts promised by other individuals and groups without access to the necessary funding, relationships, firearm experts and experienced lawyers on the NRA’s national legal team. The NRA’s team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys and scholars has the resources, skill and expertise to maximize the potential for victory.