California is shaping up to be the next major battleground over the Second Amendment, as gun rights activists in the most populous state push for loosening concealed carry laws, reports NPR. The state has some of the nation’s most restrictive such laws. To get a permit to carry in public, you must show “good cause” to a local official like a sheriff. In San Diego County, like a lot of urban areas, the sheriff set that bar high. Self-defense alone was not enough to count as “good cause;” you had to prove your life was in immediate danger or that you were carrying valuables. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled San Diego’s policy unconstitutional.
“They recognized that the Second Amendment is something that applies to everyone, not just a few individuals with some kind of a special need,” says Chuck Michel, the National Rifle Association’s West Coast counsel. “It’s not a privilege; it’s a right.” California’s attorney general and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are asking that the case be considered by the full 9th Circuit. In a New York case, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld local restrictions on concealed carry permits. These conflicting rulings could be a sign that the Supreme Court will weigh in.”The United States Supreme Court has said only that people have a Second Amendment right to have guns in their home, for the sake of security,” says Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.