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2nd Amend. Doesn't Grant Right to Carry in Public, 9th Cir. Says

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. | Last updated on

The Ninth Circuit tightened the belt on gun laws in the Golden State as well as all the entirety of the nation's West Coast when an en banc court ruled that the Second Amendment does not guarantee a right to carry loaded concealed weapons in public yesterday.

It's a not-so-stunning reversal of a three-judge panel finding by the Ninth Circuit earlier that took heat and pressure from California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

The Nexus of Facts

One of the cases that eventually became part of the consolidated litigation began with Edward Peruta, whose gun-carry application was rejected in San Diego County despite his contentions that he needed a gun for self-protection. Other plaintiffs claimed a need for self-protection and were also denied carry-licenses.

All of the plaintiffs alleged that the "good cause" requirements of their respective counties violated the Second Amendment, a theory that was initially dismissed by the district court.

"No Right to Carry in Public"

"We hold only that there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public," the Ninth Circuit ruled. The judges underscored that the ruling did not equate to a blank ban on a member of the general public's right to carry a gun in public and that the ruling did not confer a presumed right.

"Traditionally Lawful Purposes"

Under Heller v. DC, the possession of a gun inside one's domicile falls under the umbrella of "traditionally lawful" purposes for possessing a firearm, which the Second Amendment protects. The court's most recent ruling implies that carrying a loaded weapon in public is not recognized as a "traditionally lawful" purpose -- specifically, self-defense in the streets with the use of a loaded arm.

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