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Ninth Circuit Denies Request For Full Court Rehearing In Peruta

August 16, 2016

On August 15, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Plaintiffs’ Petition for Full Court Rehearing in the NRA/CRPA supported case, Peruta v. County of San Diego.  Plaintiffs asked for rehearing by the full court after an eleven-judge “en banc” panel overturned an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit.

In Peruta, the plaintiffs argued that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a firearm for self-defense in public. And because California prohibits open carry, the Plaintiffs argued that the Sheriff’s restrictive policy that denies concealed carry licenses to most law-abiding citizens violates the Second Amendment. The three-judge panel agreed, issuing a ruling declaring the Sheriff’s restrictive “good cause” policy unconstitutional.

Despite that historic ruling, the Ninth Circuit took the rare step of deciding, on its own accord, to have the case reheard by an en banc panel. A majority of that larger panel found no Second Amendment violation in denying a concealed carry license because, in its view, there is no specific constitutional right to carry a concealed firearm in public. Of course, that claim was never made by the Peruta plaintiffs, which is why they asked for a rehearing of that decision by the entire Ninth Circuit.

The Petition for Full Court Rehearing explained that the en banc majority decision conflicts with precedent requiring constitutional challenges to be viewed in the full context of the government’s burden on constitutional rights. Here, however, the en banc panel failed to view the denial of carry permits in the broader context of California’s regulatory scheme that requires residents to carry concealed. As a result of its constrained view of the right to bear arms, the en banc majority opinion suggests that open carry may be the only manner of carrying a firearm that is protected under the Second Amendment (as interpreted by the Ninth Circuit).

Now that the full Ninth Circuit has declined to rehear the case, it may ultimately be petitioned to the United States Supreme Court. With Supreme Court nominations at stake, it is critical that every gun owner makes it to the ballot box this November!

In the meantime, the fight for the right to bear arms in California will march forward.

The en banc decision in Peruta has set the stage for a new lawsuit challenging California’s comprehensive carry regime that effectively denies most law-abiding citizens the ability to carry a firearm in any manner—either openly or concealed. Stay tuned for an alert about this important new NRA/CRPA supported lawsuit that will be coming very soon.

For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA and CRPA have taken on behalf of California gun owners, click here.

On August 15, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Plaintiffs’ Petition for Full Court Rehearing in the NRA/CRPA supported case, Peruta v. County of San Diego

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