The San Diego County sheriff denied Edward Peruta a concealed-weapon permit. Christopher Haga’s gun collection was seized, and he was charged with crimes after he was mistakenly linked to a theft of assault weapons from a California military base. The National Rifle Association gave legal assistance to both men as part of its aggressive legal and political campaign to blunt gun controls, reports the Associated Press. Emboldened by a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that law-abiding Americans have the fundamental right to keep guns in their homes, the NRA has involved itself in hundreds of legal cases. That case “unleashed a torrent of litigation,” said University of California, Los Angeles law Prof. Adam Winkler.
Much of it is either started by the NRA or supported by the organization, which offers financial assistance and legal help to people embroiled in lawsuits and legal trouble because they own guns. The latest legal battle over the Second Amendment centers on expanding the right to carry guns outside the home, which is why the NRA is representing Peruta and other gun owners challenging restrictions blocking permission to carry concealed firearms in public. In February, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California’s requirement that people need a “good cause” for a concealed carry permit, ruling that self-defense was a good enough reason. So far, federal judges have rejected the NRA’s legal challenges to bans on high capacity magazines, including laws in San Francisco and Sunnyvale, a Silicon Valley suburb.