” A ruling with the potential to expand the number of Californians permitted to carry hidden, loaded guns in public to almost 2 million won’t be reheard by an appeals court as the state’s attorney general requested.
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Wednesday to deny a bid by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a gun control organization and two police lobbying groups to challenge the court’s February ruling that any responsible, law-abiding citizen is entitled under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment to possess a concealed firearm in public for self- defense. Harris may appeal the decision. Her spokesman, David Beltran, said the office is reviewing it.
The panel ruled in February that San Diego County’s process for determining who qualifies for a permit to carry a concealed weapon violates the right to bear arms. California’s concealed- carry laws are among the most stringent in the U.S.
The case was brought by freelance videographer Edward Peruta, who sued after his application to carry a concealed Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol as he traveled through high-crime neighborhoods was denied by the sheriff in San Diego County.
Experts have said that allowing the February ruling to stand may increase the number of people with concealed guns to as much as 5 percent of the general population in California. That would equal 1.9 million of the most populous U.S. state’s 38 million residents.
If the ruling is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, it could put the scope of the right to bear arms back in front of the high court justices, six years after they struck down a District of Columbia law that banned handguns in the home.
The San Francisco appeals court’s ruling is squarely at odds with those by appeals courts in New York, Philadelphia and Richmond, Virginia, that have upheld discretionary permitting. By deepening a split among regional appeals courts, a ruling in favor of Peruta increases the likelihood that the high court will take up the issue to resolve the difference of opinion. “