No right to carry concealed weapons in public, federal appeals court says

The 2nd Amendment does not guarantee Americans the right to carry concealed weapons in public, a federal appeals court in California ruled Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

In a 7-4 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a 2014 decision in a lawsuit against a San Diego County sheriff who had denied concealed weapons permits to some applicants. Instead, the court said that law enforcement can require that citizens who want a permit must give proof — such as a restraining order — that they are in danger or need it for another reason.

“We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public,” wrote Judge William A. Fletcher in the majority opinion, according to court documents.

The judges for this appellate court preside over much of the western United States, and records show oral arguments in Peruta v. County of San Diego dating back to December 2012, according to the court’s website.

Edward Peruta applied for a permit to carry a concealed gun in San Diego County in 2009, but officials rejected his application, saying he did not provide enough evidence that he needed one, court documents show. Other California residents joined with him, along with firearm special interest groups, to sue for the right to carry a concealed weapon.

The National Rifle Association has supported Edward Peruta and warned in March 2015 that if the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the 2014 decision, Peruta, with the NRA’s backing, would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The case “presents an opportunity for the Supreme Court to settle some Second Amendment issues that desperately need resolving,” the NRA said in a March 2015 statement.

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