(Update: The Ninth Circuit has posted audio of the arguments in Peruta v. County of San Diego, Richards v. Prieto, and Baker v. Kealoha.)

This Thursday, December 6th, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will consider an issue of critical importance to the safety of our communities: whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public places.

Three cases being heard on Thursday morning involve challenges to state laws in California and Hawaii that require an applicant for a concealed carry license to show a legitimate need to carry a weapon.

We’ve been supporting defense counsel with our Second Amendment expertise because we know how important these cases are. Favorable decisions here could reaffirm law enforcement’s ability to protect public safety by limiting the number of people carrying hidden, loaded handguns in California and Hawaii.

The three cases being heard by the Ninth Circuit are Peruta v. County of San Diego (challenging San Diego County’s application of the California law), Richards v. Prieto (challenging Yolo County’s application of the same law), and Baker v. Kealoha (challenging Hawaii’s law).

For more about these cases, read our amicus briefs in Peruta and Richards. If you live in the Bay Area, oral arguments are open to the public, and the Ninth Circuit courthouse is located at 95 7th Street in San Francisco. On Friday, audio and video of the arguments will be available on the Ninth Circuit’s web site.

These cases will undoubtedly have nationwide significance in this emerging area of Second Amendment jurisprudence. The Second Circuit recently upheld New York’s discretionary concealed carry law in a great decision, and similar cases are also pending in the Third and Fourth Circuits.