California Attorney General Kamala Harris released this statement yesterday explaining why she was appealing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Peruta v. San Diego.
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, on behalf of the State of California, urging the court to review and reverse its decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego.
In its February 13, 2014 Peruta decision, the Ninth Circuit ruled that San Diego County violates the Second Amendment by requiring individuals to show “good cause,” beyond a mere desire to carry a gun, when applying for a concealed-carry weapons permit.
“Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon,” Attorney General Harris said. “I will do everything possible to restore law enforcement’s authority to protect public safety, and so today am calling on the court to review and reverse its decision.”
California state law currently requires individuals to show “good cause” to carry a concealed weapon, but gives local law enforcement control over the permit process. If the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is allowed to take effect, officials throughout the State could be required to issue concealed-carry permits to individuals based on nothing more than the applicant’s assertion that they wish to carry a gun for self-defense.
In San Diego County, concealed-carry permit applicants have, until now, been required to show “good cause” by demonstrating “a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way.”
On February 21, 2014 San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced he would not seek further review of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.
As I read Harris’ statement I was struck by two things which I have highlighted. First, she wants “Only Ones” to be able to say yea or nay to who may have a carry permit. This is the same situation we had until recently in the Jim Crow-era South. In North Carolina, pistol purchase permits are still in the hands of local sheriffs but they now have less discretion to deny a permit. When the law was passed by the NC General Assembly in 1919, the intent was that local sheriff would grant pistol purchase permits to upstanding white men and women while denying that same right to blacks. It was racist then and its racist now.
The second thing in Harris’ statement that struck me was the horror expressed that California officials would be required to issue carry permits “based on nothing more than the applicant’s assertion that they wish to carry a gun for self-defense.” Can you imagine the nerve of those ordinary people wanting the same privilege reserved for the high and mighty and/or large donors to sheriffs’ election funds? Does not the ordinary citizen have the same right to self-defense of him or herself?
California prides itself on being a trendsetter. In this case, it is lagging the nation including states like Illinois where, until late last year, carry was reserved for cops and Chicago aldermen.