A lawsuit in federal court in San Diego is viewed as an important challenge of the decades-old debate over concealed-weapon permits in California, reports the city’s Union-Tribune. Filed last year by independent journalist Edward Peruta, the suit accuses the county and newly elected Sheriff Bill Gore of setting standards for such licenses so high that they are “illegal and unconstitutional.” It joins other suits filed nationally since 2008 in the wake of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on gun-ownership rights.
In those cases, the court said the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense. The complaint in San Diego argues that the right to self-defense should be enough of a reason to meet the “good cause” standard – one requirement under California law to obtain a concealed-weapon permit. The suit is an effort to extend the scope of the two Supreme Court rulings to allow individuals to possess weapons outside the home. State law gives local police chiefs and sheriffs the discretion to issue CCWs, short for “carry concealed weapon” permits, under the following conditions: The applicant must be a law-abiding citizen, have good moral character, be a county resident and establish good cause. What constitutes “good cause” is at the heart of the debate.