June 26, 2017 — Today, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and its partner organization the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, praised the decision by the United States Supreme Court to decline hearing Peruta v. California, a critical case ARS and the Law Center have been involved in since the very start.
At issue was a California statute that requires citizens to demonstrate good cause to be eligible for permits to carry hidden, loaded weapons in public—an important policy on the books in several other states. In upholding the good cause requirement, a panel of 11 judges on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recognized that the Second Amendment is not unlimited and that, for centuries, the Constitution has permitted government to impose strict guidelines on carrying concealed weapons in public.
Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:
“Today’s decision is a victory for smart gun laws and for public safety. By leaving the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Peruta undisturbed, the Supreme Court upholds the essentially unanimous view of the lower courts that reasonable gun regulation, like the good cause rule, are in line with the Second Amendment. Law enforcement officials, like the sheriff of San Diego County, who was the original defendant in this case, are in the best position to determine how to safeguard their communities, and the Court’s decision not to hear the case leaves intact the sheriff’s ability to do just that.”
Adam Skaggs, chief counsel at the Law Center:
“Today’s decision is just the latest in a long line of court decisions rejecting gun-lobby challenges to the smart gun laws that keep our families and communities safe. The Court’s refusal to take this case leaves in place the thorough, well-reasoned opinion from the Ninth Circuit, which found that requiring that concealed carry applicants show good cause before they are granted a permit to carry a hidden, loaded weapon in public is very much constitutional. Every circuit court of appeals to consider the question has concluded that the reasonable gun regulations like San Diego’s good cause rule do not infringe Second Amendment rights.”
The Law Center has been involved in the Peruta case for more than five years, and filed two amicus curiae briefs urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold California’s concealed carry permitting system—the position later adopted in the Ninth Circuit’s en banc opinion. The Law Center’s briefs were joined by leading national law enforcement officials, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
Related Resources from ARS & the Law Center:
- Gorsuch’s Gun Lobby Gesture (Published in US News & World Report)
- Gun Lobby May Have Found Their Man in Neil Gorsuch (Published in Newsweek)
- Law Center and Attorney General Harris Defend California Law in Pivotal Ninth Circuit Concealed Weapon Case (2014 amicus brief)
- Law Center Files Amicus Brief in Critical Ninth Circuit Second Amendment Litigation (2011 amicus brief)
- Court Victories for Gun Safety: Litigation Since Heller