Attorney general appeals decision loosening concealed weapons rules


Pistol hidden in belt

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LOS ANGELES — The California attorney general Wednesday asked a full federal appeals court to review a controversial gun case in hopes the court will overturn a ruling by a three-judge panel that would make it easier for someone to legally carry a concealed weapon in public.

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris asked the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to consider the case that led to the 2-1 ruling in February that struck down a restrictive policy used by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in determining who could receive a concealed weapons permit.

The ruling said the San Diego County policy of requiring applicants to prove “good cause” for receiving a concealed weapon permit violated the 2nd Amendment.

While the ruling only applied to San Diego County, it is being seen as a precedent for other challenges to gun laws. In California, each county can set its own rules for concealed weapon permits.

“This case is one of exceptional importance,” said an appeal signed by Harris and several of her subordinates. Whether the appeals court will opt to review the panel’s decision is unclear.

To require concealed permits to be issued to anyone with “the bare assertion of a desire to carry a gun in public for self-protection” would undercut a state law that gives local officials the power to decide who should be allowed to have such a permit, the appeal asserts.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore declined to appeal the decision – saying that, if an appeal was to be made, it should come from the attorney general.

Chuck Michel, attorney for the plaintiffs in the case against Gore, said Wednesday that, “Our clients will continue to oppose the efforts of the attorney general and the gun ban lobby to overturn this landmark ruling.”

The Peruta decision, named for Edward Peruta, a journalist who was turned down for a concealed weapon permit, “recognized that our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms does not end at one’s doorstep,” Michel said.

Story by Tony Perry of Los Angeles Times

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