On Thursday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed guns in public. “The 2nd Amendment may or may not protect to some degree a right of a member of the general public to carry a firearm in public,” Judge William A. Fletcher wrote for the majority. “If there is such a right, it is only a right to carry a firearm openly.”
The court upheld a state law, 7-4, that requires applicants for concealed carry permits to show “good cause” beyond a simple desire for safety. The NRA called the ruling “out of touch.”
“This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection,” the group’s legislative chief, Chris W. Cox, said. The Associated Press reports:
Typically, people who are being stalked or threatened, celebrities who fear for their safety, and those who routinely carry large amounts of cash or other valuables are granted permits.
“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,” Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher wrote for the majority.
The ruling overturned a 2014 decision by a three-judge panel of the same court that said applicants need only express a desire for personal safety.
In a dissent, Circuit Judge Consuelo M. Callahan said the ruling “obliterates the Second Amendment’s right to bear a firearm in some manner in public for self-defense.”
“Those of us that want to carry concealed, we’re the good guys. We go through an incredible amount of background checks,” an Anaheim gun dealer, Timothy Smith, told the AP. “I’ve already been checked so many times. So we’re the good guys.”