On February 13th, a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California’s requirement that citizens applying for concealed carry show “good cause” for keeping a handgun on their persons. Later in the day, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence responded by labeling the ruling a “legal error” and expressing hope that “the entire Court” will correct the “mistake.”
According to the Brady Campaign, “Neither history nor precedent supports this aberrant, split-decision that concocts a dangerous right of people to carry hidden handguns in public places to people whom law enforcement has determined that they have no good cause or qualifications to do so.”
Far from being without precedent, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling was similar in many ways to the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ December 2012 ruling which struck down Illinois’ ban on concealed carry. In that ruling, Judge Richard Posner wrote that the “right to bear arms for self-defense … is as important outside the home as inside.”
On February 13th, the Ninth Circuit’s Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote, “The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense.”
To demonstrate the “dangerous” aspect of the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the Brady Campaign cited the death of Trayvon Martin. They did not mention, however, that George Zimmerman–the man who shot Martin–was acquitted of any wrongdoing on grounds of self-defense.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.