Public Safety & Justice

California AG Asks Court to Restore Local Governments' Gun Rights

February 28, 2014

California's attorney general on Thursday waded into a court fight over the state's strict gun laws, asking an appeals court to reverse itself and restore the leeway local governments had to decide who can carry a concealed firearm.

A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on a lawsuit by gun owners, earlier this month struck down as unconstitutional a requirement by San Diego County that residents show "good cause" to carry a concealed firearm.

In a 2-1 decision, the panel found that San Diego county's rules, coupled with a California state law that largely bans the open carrying of firearms in public, effectively barred residents from carrying a gun altogether, in violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Lawyers for both sides agreed that the panel's ruling, if upheld, would force cities and counties across California to issue permits to anyone who sought to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense and met the other requirements under state law.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has since said that he would not pursue further appeals in the case. But on Thursday, Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a petition asking the full 9th Circuit court to overturn the panel.

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