Constitutional Law

9th Circuit agrees with 7th Circuit: Individuals have right to carry firearms in public

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As a decision looms in a much-watched U.S. Supreme Court case over the right of Americans to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a federal appeals court in California has added its weight to an existing circuit split on the issue.

In a Thursday decision, a divided panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a San Diego County rule requiring California residents to show “good cause” to carry a concealed handgun infringes on their Second Amendment right to bear arms. How exactly that constitutional violation must be remedied, however, is still open to question.

“To be clear, we are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” the appellate panel writes. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

The San Jose Mercury News has a detailed story, and the Volokh Conspiracy provides a copy of the 127-page opinion (PDF) in the case.

Today’s 9th Circuit decision is in accord with an earlier opinion by the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but it conflicts with decisions in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Circuits, reports the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

Related coverage: “Does Second Amendment protect right to carry gun outside home? SCOTUS declines to decide the issue” “7th Circuit Strikes Illinois Concealed-Carry Ban, Gives State 180 Days to Revise Gun Law” “Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home, Illinois Supreme Court says”

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