You may remember that the oral arguments for Richards v. Prieto and Baker v. Kealoha were heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals at the same time as they heard Peruta v. San Diego. We have been waiting to hear their decision in both of these other cases. Today the 9th Circuit released their decision in Richards and it was a win for carry in California.
In light of our disposition of the same issue in Peruta v. County of San Diego, No. 10-56971, — F.3d — (Feb. 13, 2014), we conclude that the district court in this case erred in denying Richard’s motion for summary judgment because the Yolo County policy impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.Judge Sidney Thomas, a Clinton appointee who keeps his chambers in Billings, Montana, concurred with the decision given Peruta. However, he made it clear that without the Peruta decision, he would have held that California's "good cause" requirement would be upheld one way or another.
REVERSED and REMANDED.
Absent Peruta, I would hold that the Yolo County’s “good cause” requirement is constitutional because carrying concealed weapons in public is not conduct protected by the Second Amendment. See United States v. Chester, 628 F.3d 673, 680 (4th Cir. 2010). I also would have held, in the alternative, that even if the good cause requirement implicated the Second Amendment, the policy survives intermediate scrutiny.I find his reasoning hard to believe of someone who is not only a Montana native but who also attended both college and law school in that state. I know there are plenty of both Democrats and liberals in Montana but even they tend to be pro-gun.
The CalGuns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation are both pretty happy about this turn of events.
BELLEVUE, WA, and ROSEVILLE, CA – The Second Amendment Foundation and The Calguns Foundation earned a significant victory today when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case of Richards v. Prieto, challenging the handgun carry license issuing policy of Yolo County, California, Sheriff Ed Prieto.
“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily-regulated government privilege.”
The case was originally filed in 2009 as Sykes v. McGinness, and challenged not only Yolo County’s policies, but Sacramento County’s then-restrictive practices as well. SAF, Calguns and two private citizens, Adam Richards and Brett Stewart, continued pursuing the case against Yolo County after Sacramento County agreed to relax its policy. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Alan Gura and Don Kilmer.
“We are confident that the win today will stand the test of time,” said Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman.
The Richards case was argued at the same time, and to the same panel, that earlier decided Peruta v. County of San Diego, a similar case challenging overly-restrictive carry license policies. Yolo County and Sheriff Prieto argued that their policies were distinguishable from those struck down in Peruta, but apparently, the three-judge panel unanimously disagreed.
“The Ninth Circuit’s decision moves our Carry License Compliance Initiative forward,” explained CGF Executive Director Brandon Combs. “We’re already preparing the next phase of litigation to ensure that all law-abiding Californians can exercise their right to bear arms.”
Gottlieb noted that the battle over right-to-carry laws is far from over, but today’s Ninth Circuit decision reaffirms that court’s earlier ruling in the Peruta case and “moves the ball another step forward.”
“We will pursue Second Amendment affirmation wherever and whenever such cases are possible as SAF fights to win back gun rights one lawsuit at a time,” Gottlieb stated.
California carry license applicants can download state-standard application forms, legal information, and report unconstitutional policies or process issues at https://www.calgunsfoundation.org/carry.