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Gun rights advocates suffered a major defeat Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case related to self-defense outside the home.
In opting not to hear Peruta v. California, the Supreme Court let stand an appeals court ruling that allowed local governments to ban concealed and open carry. In the case, a California man named Edward Peruta challenged the San Diego County Sheriff’s decision to deny his concealed-carry permit application. The sheriff’s office said he did not show good cause.
“The right of a member of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment,” the Ninth Circuit’s majority opinion read. “Therefore, because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public, any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry — including a requirement of ‘good cause,’ however defined — is necessarily allowed by the Amendment.”
Seven of the nine Supremes voted not to hear Peruta. Two Justices, Clarence Thomas and new justice Neil Gorsuch, would have heard the case.
“We are disappointed in the Court’s rejection of the appeal in Peruta v. California, which now leaves millions of law-abiding Californians with no ability to bear arms outside the home,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “As Justices Thomas and Gorsuch correctly stated, too many courts have been treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right. That should not be allowed to stand. … The framers of our Constitution did not intend to limit that right to the home. We look forward to a future Court affirming that the right to keep and bear arms is as much a part of our Constitution as the other enumerated rights that it protects. We will not stop fighting until a future Court affirms this fundamental right.”
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