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SCOTUS Won’t Hear Calif. Gun Rights Case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case from a man who sued San Diego County for the right to carry a concealed firearm in public.

(CN) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case from a man who sued San Diego County for the right to carry a concealed firearm in public.

Edward Peruta, a journalist claiming a need to carry a gun for self defense, sued when the county denied his application for a permit. He claimed that California law’s requirement that a carrier have “good cause” to obtain a permit was illegal. He filed his lawsuit in 2009, and a federal judge ruled in favor of the county at the end of 2010.

Although a Ninth Circuit panel reversed the federal ruling in February 2014, finding that carrying a concealed weapon in public for self-defense was in line with the Second Amendment, the Ninth Circuit set aside that ruling when the full court took a second look at the case in June of last year.

The en banc court found that “the protection of the Second Amendment — whatever the scope of that protection may be — simply does not extend to the carrying of concealed firearms in public by members of the general public.”

Now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, that ruling will stand.

Although the majority did not issue an opinion about its decision to deny Peruta’s request for a writ of certiorari, Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch issued an eight-page dissent.

“The Approach taken by the en banc court is indefensible, and the petition raises important questions that this Court should address. I see no reason to await another case,” Thomas wrote for the dissenting justices.

The Ninth Circuit limited its review of the case to whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a concealed weapon rather than the more general question of whether it protects carrying a firearm in public.

“I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen,” Thomas continued.

The dissenting justices point to an amicus brief filed by 26 additional states earlier this year asking the Supreme Court to take up the case to bolster their argument against the court’s denial.

“The Court’s decision to deny certiorari in this case re­flects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right,” Thomas wrote.

“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem anti­quated and superfluous. But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it,” Thomas finished.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not taken up a Second Amendment case in seven years.

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