A federal appeals court in California ruled Thursday there is no constitutional right to carry a concealed handgun in public.
“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,” the ruling read.
Upon hearing the court’s decision, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange denounced the ruling, which he says effectively denies residents of San Diego County, California, their Second Amendment right to possession of a handgun for self-defense outside the home.
“The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held today that residents have no Second Amendment right to carry a firearm outside their home for self-defense,” said Attorney General Strange. “In effect, the appeals court ruled that San Diego County can outlaw guns outside the home by declining to issue anyone a permit. This court’s decision is a direct challenge to the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional.”
In her dissent, Judge Consuelo Callahan said, “a prohibition on carrying concealed handguns in conjunction with a prohibition of open carry of handguns would destroy the right to bear and carry arms.”
Attorney General Strange filed an amicus brief on April 30, 2015, on behalf of Alabama and 20 other states, in the case of Peruta v County of San Diego challenging San Diego County’s effective prohibition of both open and concealed carry of firearms.
Alabama’s amicus brief asserted that “San Diego County sheriff’s prohibition on the possession of a handgun outside the home, with limited exceptions, makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.”
The brief continues “The sheriff’s department admits that, under this system, the typical person cannot qualify for a concealed carry permit for personal protection. In fact, an applicant must specifically demonstrate ‘a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply fearing for one’s personal safety alone is not considered good cause.’”
The brief added under San Diego County’s gun restrictions “bearing arms in self-defense is not a right, but a privilege granted by the government to those it deems most in danger from a specific, previously documented threat.”
Alabama was joined in the amicus brief by Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.