After ruling against California’s “good cause” requirement for concealed carry in February 2014, then refusing California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ request to challenge the ruling in November–thereby implying that the eased concealed carry restrictions would stand–the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed itself and announced Thursday it will hear an appeal on its original decision and will allow Harris’ office to be part of that appeal.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence applauded the court’s reversal.
The center’s Jonathan Lowy said, “Californians are safer now that the court has vacated this erroneous decision and reinstated reasonable regulations to protect families from loaded, hidden guns in restaurants, parks, streets, and other public places.”
Lowy did not mention that those “loaded, hidden guns”–otherwise known as “concealed” handguns–are not randomly sitting in restaurants, or on park benches, or lying haphazardly in the streets, but are carried by licensed mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters who keep the firearms with them to protect their own lives and the lives of their families.
He did not mention that guns are used 760,000 times each year in defensive gun scenarios to save lives, stop sexual assaults, stop kidnappings, and protect property, among other legal uses. Nor did Lowy explain that the reason the Ninth Circuit ruled against the “good cause” requirement in the first place was because that requirement makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get licenses to carry guns for self defense.
Think about it: the Brady Center is applauding the fact that the Ninth Circuit is willing to rehear and, therefore, reverse its decision on the “good cause” requirement, even though a reversal of that decision will make it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.
Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain distilled the crux of the matter succinctly when he handed down the majority opinion against the “good cause” requirement in February 2014. In general terms, he stressed that the right to keep and bear arms is, in and of itself, a sufficient justification for doing so. More specifically, he explained that the “good cause” requirement makes citizens vulnerable to violence outside their homes because it fails to take into account the fact that the “risk of armed confrontation” is in no way limited to one’s home.
The Ninth Circuit will hear arguments on “good cause” during the week of June 15.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.