Federal Court to Rule on San Diego CCW Permit Policy

Photo from NBC10.com.

Last week, an 11-member panel of federal appeals judges heard arguments in a case regarding the permitting process in San Diego, California for concealed firearms according to a story from the LA Times.

Currently, the San Diego Sheriff's Department determines who receives CCW permits, and requires an applicant to show "good cause" for why they need one, a rule that a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled to be too restrictive.

The federal judges are considering whether or not to overturn that ruling, which is the result of a lawsuit brought by a journalist who was denied a permit.

"If my client was so fortunate to live in Sacramento County," he would already have a concealed weapon permit," said Paul Clement, former U.S. solicitor general who is representing the journalist, Edward Peruta.

Clement argued that there is nothing wrong with the sheriff requiring an applicant in San Diego County to take a gun-safety course and not have a criminal history, but requiring an applicant to explain why he or she needs a gun for their safety violates the Second Amendment, according to the story.

The case echoes a recent ruling in Washington D.C. we reported on regarding a similar policy requiring applicants to show "a good reason" for wanting a concealed carry permit. That case is also awaiting a decision from a federal appeals court.

The case in San Diego began when Peruta, a former police officer, was denied a permit. Others who had been rejected for permits agreed with Peruta, who said the "good reason" rule is a violation of his rights and joined the litigation with support from the NRA and other organizations. A trial court rejected Peruta's assertion and upheld the Sheriff's Department rule.

But on appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in Peruta's favor in 2014, striking down the Sheriff's Department policy.

The department did not move to change the policy, instead holding permit applications in abeyance until the use has completed its journey through the courts. Currently 2,147 applications are in limbo.

A decision on the matter from the federal court is expected in the next few months.