The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last week that San Diego’s restrictive concealed carry permit laws were unconstitutional is already impacting other anti-gun jurisdictions.
A little ways north in California, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has decided to comply with the ruling in Peruta v. County of San Diego that said the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms without having to give the government a “good cause.”
Until now, an Orange County county resident had to give a strong reason on the application for a license.
The instructions read: “If the CCW license is desired for self-protection, the protection of others, or for the protection of large sums of money or valuable property, you are required to explain and provide good cause for issuance of the license. For example, has your life or property been threatened or jeopardized?”
The applicant was also required to provide specific dates, times and locations of the incidents along with reports to a law enforcement agency.
Few could get a carry permit under those strict requirements.
Under the new system, a citizen can just cite “self defense” or “personal safety” as reasons for needing a carry license.
Sheriff Hutchens hedged her bets. The police website notes that it may still revert back to the “good cause” requirement if the San Diego decision is withdrawn to rehear en banc by the appeals court, or a stay is issued by the 9th Circuit or the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, San Diego hasn’t budged. The sheriff’s licensing division posted on the website that it is in the process of reviewing the decision and conferring with legal counsel. The department is continuing existing procedures for carry applications.
The 9th Circuit ruling — and the split in circuit courts — will undoubtedly factor into the Supreme Court decision on what other Second Amendment cases it takes in coming years.
The high court is deciding on Friday whether to take up two cases that are backed by the National Rifle Association — which also funded the San Diego case— that could allow for a decision on the allowable limits to the right to bear arms.
The “may issue” states should start scrambling to rewrite their unconstitutional carry laws.
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).