Opposition To California’s Gun Restriction Grows

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Mary Lou Lang Contributor
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The governors of nine states filed an amicus brief Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing California’s restriction on concealed carry permit holders.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott led the coalition of nine state governors, which included governors from Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, South Carolina and South Dakota, which questions if California is singling out gun owners and burdening their rights, according to a release from Abbott’s office.

At stake, according to the Abbott’s office, is whether citizens travel in California, whether from out of states or residents of the states, can exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a concealed handgun.

“First, citizens in the Amici Governors’ States should not be forced to choose between exercising their constitutional rights to bear arms and exercising their constitutional rights to travel to California,” the amicus brief states.

“The question presented is whether the State of California can single out one group of disfavored citizens–namely, gun owners–and impose unique burdens on their fundamental rights,” states the brief.

“If this were a case about speech, the right to counsel, or any of the myriad rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, every federal court in this country would reject California’s arguments out of hand. Indeed, no other group of private citizens has to prove–to the satisfaction of a government official vested with unreviewable and boundless discretion–that they really need to exercise their fundamental constitutional freedoms,” stated the brief.

The amicus brief was filed in the case of Peruta et al v. County of San Diego, which was elevated to U.S. Supreme Court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there is no constitutional right to carry a concealed handgun and citizens must show “good cause” before they can obtain such a license.

The Ninth Circuit “upheld a ‘good cause’ policy that required permit applicants to show exceptional need for self-defense, holding that concealed carry of a firearm in public is not in any way protected by the Second Amendment,” according to the Harvard Law Review.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall also filed an amicus brief in this case on behalf of his state and 25 others challenging the constitutional of San Diego’s gun restriction, according to the Gadsen Times.

“The Second Amendment establishes the right of Americans to bear arms,” Marshall told the newspaper. “The Constitution does not limit that right to the interior of one’s own home, yet that is effectively what the sheriff of San Diego County has dictated to local residents. As a result, most of the citizens of San Diego County today cannot open carry or concealed carry outside their property, even for self-defense.”

He said “this unconstitutional limitation on the Second Amendment must be challenged and I am proud to lead a 26-state court filing to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing this unlawful gun ban.”