Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals released their opinion in Peruta v. County of San Diego as well as Richards v. Prieto. The court sitting en banc said to California residents that unless you were rich and famous and could afford a substantial
bribe campaign contribution to your local sheriff or were a Federal judge protected by the US Marshals Service, then you had no Second Amendment right to carry concealed. In essence, the court said you were on your own and if you wanted to carry a firearm concealed for self-defense, then you were just shit out of luck.
In the summary they said:
The en banc court held that the history relevant to both
the Second Amendment and its incorporation by the
Fourteenth Amendment lead to the same conclusion: 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. 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. The en banc court
stated that there may or may not be a Second Amendment
right for a member of the general public to carry a firearm
openly in public, but the Supreme Court has not answered
You may remember that a regular three-judge 9th Circuit panel had found that the Second Amendment does indeed convey a right to carry. Chief Judge Sidney Thomas, a Clinton appointee, had been in the minority in that decision and worked to get it reheard en banc.
Today he was in the 7-4 majority with the opinion written by Judge William Fletcher, a Clinton appointee. Chief Judge Thomas was also joined in the majority by Judge Harry Pregerson, a 93-year old Carter appointee; Judge Susan Graber, a Clinton appointee; Judge Margaret McKeown, a Clinton appointee; Judge Richard Paez, a Clinton appointee; and Judge John Owens, a Obama appointee.
Voting for the Second Amendment right to carry were Judge Consuelo Callahan, a George W. Bush appointee; Judge Barry Silverman, a Clinton appointee; Judge Carlos Bea, a George W. Bush appointee; and Judge N. Randy Smith, a George W. Bush appointee.
I applaud Judge Silverman for bucking the trend of Democratic appointees who voted against the Second Amendment. Perhaps the judge was familiar with the works of the English philosopher John Locke who had greatly influenced our founding fathers. In Locke’s Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government, Locke said, in so many words, that the first law of nature is a right to self-defense. In that view, it could be argued that today’s 9th Circuit decision was a crime against the laws of nature.
I am in agreement with Sebastian that it would be very dangerous for the plaintiffs to appeal this ruling to the US Supreme Court as the Court stands now. I have an interview for the Polite Society Podcast scheduled for Friday with Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation. I’m sure that will come up during the interview. I will post more on that tomorrow afternoon.