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Federal appeals court: authorities may require permits for concealed handguns in public

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] held [decision, PDF] Thursday that the right to carry a concealed gun is not within Second Amendment right to bear arms. The court, reversing a prior 2014 decision [JURIST op-ed], upheld California's current restriction requiring citizens to demonstrate "good cause" for having a concealed handgun. The court majority stated that, because the Second Amendment does not provide protection to carry a concealed firearm in public, "any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose ... is necessarily allowed by the Amendment." The California law [materials] has been a point of contention within the state. In particular those opposed to the law believe the term "good cause" should include personal protection. Only those individuals who require a heightened sense of security, such as citizens who frequently carry large amounts of cash or who are being stalked, can justify personal protection as being "good cause." This ruling stands against the dissent's cries that it "obliterates the Second Amendment's right to bear a firearm in some manner in public for self-defense." The decision left open the possibility that carrying a firearm openly in public might fall within the purview of the Second Amendment.

Gun control [JURIST backgrounder] and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial topics across the US. Last month the Ninth Circuit held that the Second Amendment protects the right to buy and sell guns [JURIST report]. In February the US Supreme Court heard arguments [JURIST report] in a case addressing firearm possession for people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. In January US President Barack Obama announced executive actions on gun control [JURIST report]. In November an appellate court in Wisconsin ruled that a state law that prohibits possession of certain knives [JURIST report] violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

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