Media contact:
Julie Henson, (415) 433-2062 x304, [email protected]

SAN FRANCISCO—In response to the radical decision that put a key component to California’s concealed weapons law in jeopardy earlier this month, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a brief in support of California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ request that the Ninth Circuit reconsider the case in front of a larger panel of judges.

The law at issue here allows law enforcement to issue a permit to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public if the applicant can demonstrate “good cause” for receiving a permit. This type of system is commonly called a “may issue” permitting system and is not uncommon in other states across the country. In Peruta v. County of San Diego, two judges on a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit decided that California’s good cause requirement must be interpreted to allow anyone who claims a general desire for personal self-defense in public to be issued a permit, contrary to three other circuits’ decisions on this issue. 

Cody Jacobs, a staff attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, issued this statement:

By filing this brief, the Law Center is sending the Ninth Circuit a clear message: Do not allow the radical decision of two judges to overturn decades of California law that helps law enforcement prevent gun violence.

The Law Center’s research on Second Amendment litigation nationwide shows that this unprecedented ruling starkly departs from other courts’ interpretations of the Second Amendment. Cases challenging similar concealed weapon permitting systems in New York, Maryland, and New Jersey have been rejected by three different federal appellate courts.

The court must consider the public safety benefits of granting law enforcement discretion in deciding who should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in our communities and uphold California’s critical law regulating guns in our public spaces.

The Law Center’s brief was joined by Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle, who stated:

Law enforcement needs the discretion to do what is right for their communities when it comes to who can carry concealed weapons on our streets. Two judges should not be able to force their extreme view on the entire state and dismantle California’s successful system.

Since the controversial 2008 Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller, the gun lobby has flooded the courts with similar claims, which have nearly all been rejected. The Law Center tracks and analyzes Second Amendment litigation across the country and has found that, in the last six years, over 90% of the challenges to the nation’s gun laws have been rejected, leaving almost all state gun laws intact across the country.

For more on how this decision is out of sync with current law, read our analysis and brief in support of Attorney General Harris’ request:

Media contact:
Julie Henson
(415) 433-2062 x304
[email protected]

about the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is the only national law center focused on providing comprehensive legal expertise in support of gun violence prevention. Founded by lawyers after an assault weapon massacre at a San Francisco law firm in 1993, we remain dedicated to preventing the loss of lives caused by gun violence by providing trusted, in-depth research and information on the Second Amendment and America’s gun laws.