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Appeals Court: 2nd Amendment doesn’t guarantee Californians’ concealed carry

A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store.
A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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A federal appeals court decided Thursday morning that Californians do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed firearms in public.

In a 7-4 decision, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said California counties may require people to provide a good reason for carrying a gun when applying for a concealed weapons permit.

The argument began in San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which had required applicants to show “good reason” for why they needed a concealed weapons permit. A 3-judge panel struck down that policy in 2014 for being too restrictive of 2nd amendment rights, a decision appealed by state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

How do California gun owners and gun control advocates feel about the decision? Is carrying a gun in public for defense a constitutional right? How might this affect the pending gun control bills that passed the Assembly, and future gun control legislation?


Julie Leftwich, Legal Director at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco

Brandon Combs, Founder and CEO of Firearms Policy Coalition and executive director of Calguns Foundation, a gun rights advocacy organization in California and one of the plaintiffs in the case