California Sheriffs Can Restrict Concealed Guns


California is definitely not winning any awards in the personal freedom arena. A case had made its way to the Supreme Court regarding a challenge to California law based on the Second Amendment that places limits on how guns can be carried in public.

The Supreme Court refused to hear the case. This means that there is no more challenge to the law at this point.

The law in question is what gun rights advocates believe is essentially a ban on carrying guns openly in public. The law allows concealed carry only if the people applying for a concealed carry permit can demonstrate that they have a good enough reason that they should get a permit. The challengers of the law sued San Diego and Yolo counties, saying that the “prove you really need a permit” law is so restrictive that it amounts to an outright ban.

San Diego, for instance, defined good cause as requiring proof that the applicant is “in harm’s way,” adding that “simply fearing for one’s personal safety alone is not considered good cause.”

The Supreme Court justices gave no explanation for why they refused to hear the case. But it is not surprising as they really don’t agree to hear Second Amendment cases very often. The most recent high profile Second Amendment case was in 2008. That case was called District of Columbia v. Heller, and in that case the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep guns at home for self-defense. Well, gee, thank you Supreme Court!

But seriously, since then they have turned down almost every other case that came their way. I looked for a list of how many Second Amendment cases they had seen or how many they had turned away and I couldn’t find one. But the experts all seem to agree that they turn away far far more than they agree to hear.

And also, the Heller case only applies to gun rights in the home. Public gun rights is something that they do not seem eager to take on, as this refusal to hear the California case shows. Most lower courts also avoid the issue.

In a 7-4 ruling in 2016, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, said there was no Second Amendment right to carry a concealed weapon. In that case, the justices said: “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.”

Obviously the militiamen who first bore arms to protect and defend our young country weren’t just carrying their rifles in the privacy and comfort of their own home. The fight goes on.