In a major victory for gun rights activists, a federal appeals panel in California has rejected a law in San Diego County that requires applicants for concealed carry permits to demonstrate “good cause” as to why they need a gun for personal safety.

A three-judge panel on Thursday rejected a district court’s ruling in favor of the county after plaintiffs appealed. The plaintiffs argued that “by defining ‘good cause’ in San Diego County’s permitting scheme to exclude a general desire to carry for self-defense, the County impermissibly burdens their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

The district court erred “because San Diego County’s ‘good cause’ permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense,” wrote Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs who were denied concealed carry licenses because they could not establish “good cause,” as well as plaintiffs who anticipated they would be denied. The California Rifle and Pistol Association was an additional plaintiff in the case, and no plaintiff is otherwise banned from possessing a gun.

The case was appealed from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.


Judge O’Scannlain wrote that neither case speaks “explicitly or precisely” to the scope of the Second Amendment right outside the home or what it takes to ‘infringe’ it.

“Speakers of the English language will all agree: ‘bearing a weapon inside the home’ does not exhaust this definition of ‘carry,’” he wrote. “For one thing, the very risk occasioning such carriage, ‘confrontation,’ is ‘not limited to the home.’

“One needn’t point to statistics to recognize that the prospect of conflict — at least, the sort of conflict for which one would wish to be ‘armed and ready’ — is just as menacing (and likely more so) beyond the front porch as it is in the living room,’” he continued. “To be sure, the idea of carrying a gun ‘in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose … of being armed and ready,’ does not exactly conjure up images of father stuffing a six-shooter in his pajamas pocket before heading downstairs to start the morning’s coffee, or mother concealing a handgun in her coat before stepping outside to retrieve the mail. Instead, it brings to mind scenes such as a woman toting a small handgun in her purse as she walks through a dangerous neighborhood, or a night-shift worker carrying a handgun in his coat as he travels to and from his job site.”


Source: David Sherfinski,