There is no constitutional right for the general public to carry concealed firearms outside the home, a federal appellate court ruled Thursday in a decision that serves as a major blow to Second Amendment advocates.
In a much awaited en banc ruling, the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a California law that requires a gun owner to show “good cause” in order to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun. What constitutes good cause is left up to county sheriffs, and the 7-4 decision overturns a prior ruling by a three-judge panel that said the requirements adopted by sheriffs in San Diego and Yolo counties were unconstitutional.
“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,” wrote Judge William A. Fletcher in a 52-page opinion for the majority.
The ruling held that the Second Amendment “may or may not protect, to some degree, the right of a member of the general public to carry firearms in public.” But the court declined to address the matter of open carry laws.
“We do not reach the question whether the Second Amendment protects some ability to carry firearms in public,such as open carry. That question was left by the Supreme Court in Heller, and we have no need to answer it here,” wrote Judge Fletcher, an appointee of President Bill Clinton.
Federal appeals courts have upheld similar restrictive “good reason” requirements in New Jersey, New York and Maryland. An ongoing case is challenging the requirement to provide a good reason in the District, with the D.C. Circuit on Thursday approving a stay of a lower court ruling that banned the city from enforcing its requirements.
Read More at: Washington Times