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Newly-seated Justice Gorsuch may soon be seeing a Second Amendment case. Peruta v. California springs from – where else? That bottomless pit of loony that is California. Excerpt:
At issue in Peruta v. California is a state law that says conceal-carry permits will only be issued to those persons who have demonstrated to the satisfaction of their local county sheriff that they have a “good cause” for carrying a concealed firearm in public. What counts as a “good cause?” In the words of one San Diego official, “one’s personal safety is not considered good cause.” In effect, the local sheriff has vast discretion to pick and choose who gets a permit and who doesn’t. Because the guidelines are unclear there is a severe risk of arbitrary enforcement. As one previous court ruling on the matter observed, “in California the only way that the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen can carry a weapon in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense is with a concealed-carry permit. And, in San Diego County, that option has been taken off the table.”
A constitutional challenge to this law inevitably followed. But that challenge suffered a major defeat in June 2016 when San Diego’s “good cause” requirement was upheld by a divided 11-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on the grounds that the Second Amendment offers no protection for gun owners in this area. “Because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public,” the 9th Circuit majority said, “any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry—including a requirement of ‘good cause,’ however defined—is necessarily allowed by the Amendment.”
In January 2017 Edward Peruta and his fellow petitioners asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and overturn that 9th Circuit ruling.
According to the Court’s docket, their petition has now been considered by the justices in private conferences held on March 24, on March 31, on April 13, and on April 21, but no decision has yet been reached. This Friday, April 28, is the next private conference on the Court’s calendar, and the justices are scheduled to consider the Peruta petition once again.
Bear in mind that the Ninth is, far and away, the most oft-overturned circuit court in the United States. They regularly get it wrong. They’re wrong here too, and one hopes the Supreme Court gets this right.
It’s funny how many people agree on most of the Bill of Rights, but draw a blank on the Second Amendment. Indeed, if the political Left interpreted the Second as they do some of the other aspects of the Bill of Rights, gun ownership would be mandatory.
Still, the Left is getting more consistent, at least. “Hate” speech is no longer due Constitutional protection. Freedom of association is a dead letter. The Fourth Amendment died with Kelo v. New London and a plethora of civil forfeiture laws.
Attacks on the Second Amendment are the canary in the coal mine for attacks on all liberties. Let’s hope the Supremes show the state of Californey a thing or two.