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California ‘may-issue’ challenge appealed to Supreme Court

The legal case of a San Diego man who first filed for a con­cealed car­ry per­mit in 2009 and has been wrapped up in lit­i­ga­tion since then is head­ed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attor­neys for the Cal­i­for­nia Rifle and Pis­tol Asso­ci­a­tion and the Nation­al Rifle Asso­ci­a­tion on Thurs­day filed a 302-page peti­tion to the nation’s high court on behalf of Edward Peruta, who applied for a con­cealed car­ry per­mit in San Diego and was refused because he could not show “good cause” as to why he felt the need to car­ry a gun.

Reject­ed at first by a U.S. Dis­trict Court, Peruta’s case drew nation­al atten­tion in 2014 when a split three-judge pan­el of the U.S. 9th Cir­cuit Court of Appeals found that self-defense was a good enough rea­son for grant­i­ng a per­mit, stat­ing that the Sec­ond Amend­ment guar­an­tees the right to car­ry a gun in pub­lic.

As San Diego Sher­iff Bill Gore, the defen­dant in the chal­lenge, declined to appeal and oth­er cas­es met with sim­i­lar results, it appeared that California’s strict “may-issue” pol­i­cy of grant­i­ng per­mits to car­ry was on the ropes.

How­ev­er, as gun con­trol groups and state Attor­ney Gen­er­al Kamala Har­ris mount­ed chal­lenges to the rul­ing, the 9th Cir­cuit vot­ed in 2015 to set aside and rehear the case in front of a rarely grant­ed 11-judge en banc pan­el. Last June, that pan­el sided 7–4 with the ear­li­er Dis­trict Court rul­ing and set aside the 2014 gun rights vic­to­ry hold­ing that the right of a mem­ber of the pub­lic to car­ry a con­cealed firearm in pub­lic is not, and nev­er has been, pro­tect­ed by the Sec­ond Amend­ment.

With an open seat on the Supreme Court due to the unex­pect­ed death of Jus­tice Antonin Scalia, and a full court hear­ing by the 9th Cir­cuit refused, Peruta’s legal team was grant­ed exten­sions to file from Jus­tice Kennedy, set to expire Thurs­day.

Now on its way to Wash­ing­ton, the odds of being heard by the court are slim.

Although the Supreme Court receives thou­sands of peti­tions each year, the num­ber grant­ed is few, typ­i­cal­ly 100 or less. Grant­i­ng a peti­tion requires the votes of four Jus­tices, some­thing the court has declined to do in sev­er­al recent gun rights cas­es sent up from the Cir­cuits even when Scalia was on the bench.
Cal­i­for­nia ‘may-issue’ chal­lenge appealed to Supreme Court
Cal­i­for­nia ‘may-issue’ chal­lenge appealed to Supreme Court

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