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California AG asks federal court to reverse decision striking down gun control laws

California Attorney General Kamala Harris [official website] filed [press release] a petition on Thursday in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] urging the court to reverse its decision [text, PDF] that struck down a law requiring residents to show good cause to carry a concealed firearm. Earlier this month the court ruled that the San Diego law violated the Second Amendment [Cornell LII backgrounder]. Harris criticized the opinion saying, "Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon." Harris also promised to do everything in her power to restore the law enforcement's discretion. The California state law requires individuals to show good cause, and allocates the authority to local law enforcement to grant and deny permits based on good cause. If the Ninth Circuit's opinion takes effect, officials throughout the state may have to abandon the good cause requirement for granting permits.

Following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, a number of states enacted restrictive gun control laws, many of which have been litigated in federal court. Earlier this month the Supreme Court declined to hear [JURIST report] three new petitions that would address the scope of the Second Amendment. In January a federal district court in Connecticut upheld [JURIST report] the constitutionality of the state's new gun control law [JURIST report]. That same month a federal judge in Illinois struck down [JURIST report] part of Chicago's gun ordinance banning the licensed sale of firearms in the city. Also in January a federal judge in New York upheld [JURIST report] most of state's new gun control law [JURIST report], among the most restrictive in the country, but struck down a provision prohibiting owners to load more than seven rounds into a magazine. In May 2013 a group of Colorado County Sheriffs filed a federal law suit [JURIST report] challenging a series of gun control laws signed [JURIST report] into law in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

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