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Federal Court Holds California's Concealed Weapons Law is Constitutional

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

California's law against carrying a concealed weapon, Penal Code 25400 PC, makes it a crime for most members of the general public to carry a concealed firearm on their person or in a vehicle. 

There is an exception to California's concealed carry law for people who have obtained a concealed weapons permit. In order to get this permit, you need to meet certain requirements, including a showing of "good cause." 

A recent federal lawsuit, Peruta v. San Diego, challenged these laws, arguing that they violate the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which protects the right to bear arms). The law's opponents focused on the "good cause" requirement for a concealed weapons permit, arguing that it created too high a barrier for people seeking such a permit. In 2014, a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and held that California's concealed carry laws are unconstitutional. 

But the case was appealed to the entire Ninth Circuit. And several days ago that court, sitting "en banc," held that in fact PC 25400 and California's concealed weapons permit requirements are NOT unconstitutional. 

The Ninth Circuit concluded that the Second Amendment does not extend to concealed firearms--and that there is, therefore, no constitutional right to carry concealed weapons.

There is a chance this case will be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which may reach a different conclusion. For now, California's concealed weapons laws are here to stay.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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