[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] denied the motion to intervene [opinion, PDF] on Wednesday in the case of Edward Peruta v. County of San Diego [docket]. In February 2013 the Ninth Circuit held the permit review process established by San Diego County infringed upon the rights of Californians under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution [text]. The San Diego policy required law-abiding gun owners to demonstrate good cause in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit and under the San Diego policy, concern for one’s personal safety in itself was not considered good cause. Two weeks after the opinion was delivered, the California Attorney General [official website] and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence [advocacy website] each filed a motion to intervene for a rehearing of the case, which was joined by the California Police Chiefs’ Association and the California Peace Officers’ Association. In Wednesday’s ruling the Ninth Circuit ruled 2-1 that the “movants did not meet the heavy burden of demonstrating imperative reasons in favor of intervention on appeal.” Although February’s ruling applied only to San Diego, it is being cited as a precedent [LAT report] in other gun challenges in California, and some counties have already chosen to follow the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation of the law, and the number of concealed carry permits has increased in San Diego and Orange counties since February. While the California AG’s motion to intervene was denied, the state may appeal Wednesday’s decision.
The debate over Second Amendment rights [JURIST backgrounder] is a highly contested legal issue in California. JURIST Guest Columnist Andrew Beshai of Loyola Law School argues [JURIST op-ed] California’s new gun laws passed in 2013 must strike a balance between self-defense and public safety. In March, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld two San Francisco gun laws [JURIST report], holding that firearm storage requirements are a reasonable attempt to increase public safety without infringing on Second Amendment rights. In August a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled [JURIST report] that a California gun law which requires a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases cannot be applied to those who already own firearms. In November a group of California gun dealers filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in federal court challenging a state law that limits their right to advertise outside of its store windows.