- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2014

The landmark 9th Circuit court ruling last week that an individual does not need to prove a reason to want to bear arms outside the home is reverberating quickly.

Just a week after the court ruled that San Diego’s restrictive concealed-carry permit laws were unconstitutional, the county sheriff announced he would not appeal.

Sheriff Bill Gore wrote to the County Board of Supervisors that he will not seek en banc review of Peruta, et al. v. County of San Diego, which means the appeals court decision stands. 

However, the sheriff is slow-walking the change as much as possible. He said that any new application process will not start until the full time has elapsed for the district court to make the ruling final.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) funded the case for the plaintiffs. David Lehman is general counsel of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. 

“While Sheriff Gore has indicated that he will not appeal the extremely well-reasoned decision by the 9th Circuit in Peruta, it remains to be seen whether he will actually follow the Court’s directive and issue concealed carry permits to law-abiding county residents who simply want to exercise their fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms,” Mr. Lehman told me Friday evening.

SEE ALSO: MILLER: Orange County makes it easier to get gun concealed carry permit to comply with 9th Circuit

Once the decision is finalized, Sheriff Gore wrote that his department “will begin to issue CCW’s in situations where the applicant has met all other lawful qualifications and has requested a CCW for purposes of self-defense.”

Those other qualifications include being subjected to an interview, paying fees and taking a firearms course.

Should the change go through, it would make a drastic difference for residents of the Southern California county. Until now, a person had to prove that he had “good cause” — which meant providing documentation, such as a restraining order.

The ban on open carry will continue for now.

Just yesterday, Orange County moved forward with changes to its concealed-carry application process to comply with the ruling.

The decision by Sheriff Gore not to appeal is likely to stand because anti-gun jurisdictions don’t want the Supreme Court to weigh in on carry rights and stop all “may issue” state laws.

SEE ALSO: MILLER: Court gives NRA a big win for concealed carry gun rights in California

Similarly, Illinois’ attorney general decided last year against appealing to the Supreme Court the 7th Circuit ruling in Moore v. Madigan, which overturned her state’s total ban on carry rights.

The high court, however, is expected to announce Monday whether it will take up two NRA cases that would give the justices the opportunity to resolve the splits in the circuit courts over the limits to bearing arms.

Most notably, the 4th Circuit ruled in Woollard v. Sheridan that Maryland’s laws that allow almost nobody to get a carry permit were lawful.

The “may issue” states that continue to restrict an individual’s right to bear arms are on the wrong side of the Constitution. The courts should continue to overturn these laws until the Supreme Court can weigh in once and for all.

Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).

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