Carry Concealed in California? Have At It.

It’s not often I enjoy the liberalization of…anything, really, which is why today is quite the auspicious occasion indeed.

By a divided 2-1 vote, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, widely considered to be one of–if not the most–liberal circuit in the country, struck down California’s requirement that citizen’s justify “good cause” to obtain a concealed weapons permit as unconstitutional.

Says Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain for the majority:

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense”.

And Judge Sidney Thomas in dissent:

“It limits the risk to public safety by reducing the number of guns in public circulation, but allows those who will most likely need to defend themselves in public to carry a handgun.”

One–OK, two–points of contention, your Excellency Thomas: How exactly is a citizen supposed to ably foresee some specific instance in which use of a handgun may be needed, outside of speaking in generalities? Unless each of us is capable of some hitherto unrealized Miss Cleo-level of clairvoyance, being able to articulate the time, place and manner of an attack that would call for a firearm is a near impossible burden to hurdle. For if we could know, we’d avoid it, rendering the gun unnecessary, yes?

Also, has the “public safety” in those states who “shall issue” concealed permits been adversely affected by their deregulated stance on such permits? In the time I’ve carried concealed, I fail to recall a circumstance in which my gun has left its holster of its own volition and threatened the “public safety”. Concealed means no one knows it’s there. Hard to do an injury to the mother of three pushing screaming kids in a stroller next to you if she’s unaware of your gun’s presence. But, thanks to the level-headedness of his two colleagues, Thomas’ dissenting opinion is just that, an opinion. A failed opinion at that.

Here’s my “good cause”: given the Supreme Court decision in Heller, reaffirming an individual right to bear arms, I’ll carry concealed because I damn well want to. How’s that? I kept it pithy for you even.

Meanwhile, Hollywood predictably hates the decision. Actress Elizabeth Perkins (I’ll wait for you to look her up) is convinced the NRA is responsible for the ruling:


So her theory is that because the NRA provided financial and legal backing to the plaintiffs in Peruta v San Diego, a case where the plaintiff was required to provide “good cause” to obtain a permit, that the obviously right-leaning NRA influenced the deeply left-leaning 9th Circuit to the point of essentially swaying the ruling in their favor?

She erroneously equates a court ruling with legislation, which would indeed potentially be subject to intense lobbying. Unless she’s suggesting the NRA can sway theoretically impartial, but in practice, ideologically opposing judges, what exactly is she on about? Did the NRA sway the Supreme Court’s Heller decision as well, which provided much of the impetus in this decision? If your answer is no, feel free to push her theory into the “black helicopter” file.

It’s been a good few years for the Second Amendment. Rabidly anti-gun Chicago–and Illinois, too– has been summarily pummeled by multiple federal courts for their unconstitutional gun regulations, and now an extremely liberal court has struck down a key provision of California’s “may issue” permitting process. Look for other states (i.e. N.J.) with “good cause” laws to face similar challenges in court.

And rightfully so. An individual right to keep and bear arms, for the “lawful purpose of self-defense”, shall not be infringed. What about that last part in particular in confusing to Ms. Perkins and others (I’m looking at you, Piers)?

Gun advocates are making progress. Now, about those “assault” weapon bans…


About Michael Haugen

Michael Haugen is a full-spectrum conservative and recent graduate from Eastern Washington University (BS Biology). His main interests in politics and public policy center around health care, education and tax reform. He'll be returning to EWU in 2014 to complete a Master's degree in Public Administration. Follow him on Twitter: @HaugenTRA


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