Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Challenge Against California Concealed Carry Law

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he prepares for a rally in support of open carry gun laws at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas. Texas is still sorting out where firearms are allowed, and where they're …
AP/Eric Gay

The Supreme Court of the United States denied review on Monday in the case challenging California’s concealed carry law.

That case made its way to the Supreme Court via the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

It originated with Sacramento County residents James Rothery and Andrea Hoffman, who both argued that the structure of California’s concealed law opened the door to unequal application and favoritism, while closing the door to a consistent exercise of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

California has a “May Issue” policy for concealed carry permit issuance. This means, even for residents who lack a criminal record and are legally able to buy a firearm, the local sheriff has the discretion to refrain from approving their permit application unless they demonstrate “good cause” for carrying a firearm.

Rothery’s petition for certiorari noted these things, punctuating what they believed to be an arbitrary application of the permitting process:

There are no uniform state standards for the issuance of a permit; leaving the decision entirely within the discretion of the locally elected sheriff. The discretionary and arbitrary application process itself creates perverse incentives for the approval or denial of an application. Most individuals in many California counties, including Sacramento County, cannot obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon unless the individual is a friend or campaign contributor to the local county sheriff. Honorably retired California peace officers are exempted from this restraint as they are automatically granted a lifetime right to carry concealed weapons, regardless of need or merit.

Rothery was dismissed by a district court, then appealed to the Ninth Circuit, where the dismissal was affirmed. The case was then appealed to Supreme Court, where it was docketed on July 27. On November 5, the Court announced it would not hear the case.

“It is never any reflection on the legal merits when the Supreme Court declines to take a case,” explains Breitbart News Senior Legal Editor Ken Klukowski. “This petition was poorly written, making this case an unsuitable vehicle for the Supreme Court to take up such an important constitutional issue as Second Amendment rights outside the home.”

The case is Rothery v. Blanas, No. 18-121 in the Supreme Court of the United States.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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