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Supreme Court Refuses To Re-Hear Peruta

June 26, 2017

Today, the United States Supreme Court officially declined to review the NRA and CRPA supported the case of Peruta v. California (formerly known as Peruta v. San Diego). The case made history in 2014 when a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held that the San Diego County Sheriff’s restrictive “good cause” policy for the issuance of a concealed carry license violates the Second Amendment. But shortly after that decision, the Ninth Circuit took the rare step of deciding on its own to rehear the case by an 11-judge “en banc” panel who overturned the 3-judge panel opinion.

Although the high court declined to review the case, Justice Thomas, joined by newly appointed Justice Gorsuch, authored a scathing dissenting opinion from the denial. Their dissent highlights how the “en banc” panel improperly declined to answer the core question of whether the Second Amendment protects a right to carry a firearm in public, and instead ruled that concealed carry is not protected. By doing so, the Ninth Circuit’s decision is “indefensible,” in Justice Thomas’ words, because it refused to call into question “the State’s regulatory scheme as a whole,” which generally prohibits the average citizen from carrying a firearm either openly or concealed in public. For it is “extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen” but nothing more.

As noted by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, today’s decision “reflects a distressing trend” of treating the Second Amendment as a disfavored right. “For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous.” But the Constitution “does not rank certain rights above others,” and the Supreme Court should not impose a hierarchy of constitutional guarantees by “selectively enforcing its preferred rights.”

California gun owners should know that the battle for the right to carry is far from over. While today’s decision is disappointing, the dissent hints that the court may be “waiting for additional courts to weigh in” on the question. To that end, NRA and CRPA have already filed a new lawsuit in direct response to the 9th Circuit’s decision titled Flanagan v. Harris

Flanagan broadens the scope of the Peruta lawsuit by challenging California’s open carry ban, in addition to state and local restrictions that deny concealed carry licenses to law-abiding citizens. The case will force the court to decide once and for all whether or not it’s willing to uphold a complete restriction on the right of law-abiding people to carry a firearm in California.

Flanagan is not the only case challenging restrictive carry laws that could eventually come before the Supreme Court. The NRA is currently litigating a case challenging Washington D.C.’s restrictive “good reason” requirement for the issuance of concealed carry licenses. That case, titled Grace v. District of Columbia, is awaiting a decision from the D.C. Circuit. Regardless of the outcome at the D.C. Circuit, the case will likely be petitioned to the Supreme Court for review.

NRA and CRPA are fully committed to fighting for the right to keep and bear arms in California. As a direct result of these efforts, we now have a President who respects the Constitution and is willing to appoint pro-Second Amendment judges that will stand up for our rights in court. Although the Supreme Court declined to take the Peruta case, it is only a matter of time before the Second Amendment comes before the Supreme Court again. Having a court that is willing to uphold the rights enshrined in the Constitution will ensure our Second Amendment rights are protected for decades to come.

CRPA Foundation is dedicated to supporting eligible training, education, and pro-Right to Keep and Bear Arms litigation programs and are generally tax-deductible (subject to confirmation by your tax professional).

Today, the United States Supreme Court officially declined to review the NRA and CRPA supported the case of Peruta v. California (formerly known as Peruta v. San Diego). The case made history in 2014 when a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held that the San Diego County Sheriff’s restrictive “good cause” policy for the issuance of a concealed carry license violates the Second Amendment.

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