There’s good news today in a critical Second Amendment case out of California. The Supreme Court denied review in Peruta v. California, leaving in place a decision upholding the state law that requires concealed carry permit applicants to show good cause to local law enforcement before carrying a hidden, loaded weapon in public. Today’s news demonstrates that the courts remain unmoved by the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda to lower safety standards and force guns into more public spaces. And it shows that the Second Amendment permits reasonable firearm safety legislation, like California’s smart gun laws.
California is one of several states that has “good cause” policies on the books, while other states impose basic minimum qualifications on concealed carry applicants through other types of “may issue” permitting laws. These policies protect public safety by ensuring that local law enforcement officers are empowered to determine the qualifications for issuing permits to carry loaded, concealed guns on public streets and sidewalks. By leaving the Ninth Circuit’s decision undisturbed, the Supreme Court ensured that California and other states may continue to regulate the public carry of firearms based on the safety needs of local communities.
The Law Center has been involved in the Peruta case for more than five years, since the beginning of the litigation process, and filed two amicus briefs urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold California’s concealed carry permitting system—the position later adopted in the Ninth Circuit’s en banc opinion. The Law Center’s briefs were joined by leading national law enforcement officials, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
Fighting for commonsense gun laws in the courts is an essential part of our mission, and we’re winning—more than 94% of Second Amendment challenges to smart gun laws have been rejected since the landmark Heller decision in 2008. And the Supreme Court has denied review in more than 70 cases involving a Second Amendment challenge, leaving in place lower court decisions—like Peruta—that uphold lifesaving gun safety measures. Additionally, lawmakers in 45 states and DC have passed 198 new smart gun laws since the tragic gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.