9th Circuit Court of Appeals Overturn California’s Restrictive Concealed Carry Law

1911February 13, 2014 – San Francisco, CA – FreeFireZoneBlog.com – In a historic decision just issued, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned California’s restrictive concealed carry law which makes it almost literally impossible for a citizen to obtain the necessary permit to defend himself and his family against criminal attack outside of his home.

Text of decision available here, EDWARD PERUTA; MICHELLE LAXSON; JAMES DODD; LESLIE BUNCHER, Dr.; MARK CLEARY; CALIFORNIA RIFLE AND PISTOL ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION, Plaintiffs – Appellants, v. COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO; WILLIAM D. GORE, individually and in his capacity as Sheriff, Defendants – Appellees.

From the majority decision:

“The Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arms but also to “bear” them—the verb whose original meaning is key in this case. Saving us the trouble of pulling the eighteenth-century dictionaries ourselves, the Court already has supplied the word’s plain meaning: “At the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584.3 Yet, not “carry” in the ordinary sense of “convey[ing] or transport[ing]” an object, as one might carry groceries to the check-out counter or garments to the laundromat, but “carry for a particular purpose—confrontation.” Id. The “natural meaning of ‘bear arms,’” according to the Heller majority, was best articulated by Justice Ginsburg in her dissenting opinion in Muscarello v. United States, 524 U.S. 125 (1998): to “‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’”

“Heller tells us, secures “the right to ‘protect[] [oneself] against both public and private violence,’ thus extending the right in some form to wherever a person could become exposed to public or private violence.” United States v. Masciandaro, 638 F.3d 458, 467”

“These passages alone, though short of dispositive, strongly suggest that the Second Amendment secures a right to carry a firearm in some fashion outside the home. Reading those lines in light of the plain-meaning definition of “bear Arms” elucidated above makes matters even clearer: the Second Amendment right “could
not rationally have been limited to the home.”

“The commonsense reading of “bear Arms” previously discussed finds support in several important constitutional treatises in circulation at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification. See id. at 582–83, 592–93 (treating such sources as instructive of the clause’s original meaning). Writing on the English right to arms, William Blackstone noted in his Commentaries on the Laws of England that the “the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence” had its roots in “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation.””

“Writing over thirty years later in what Heller calls the “most important” American edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries, id. at 594, St. George Tucker, a law professor and former Antifederalist, affirmed Blackstone’s comments on the British right and commented further on its American dimensions. The right to armed self-defense, Tucker insisted, is the “first law of nature,” and any law “prohibiting any person from bearing arms” crossed the constitutional line.”

“The district court erred in denying the applicant’s motion for summary judgment on the Second Amendment claim because San Diego County’s “good cause” permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second
Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense. Reversed and remanded.”

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