June 9, 2016
Appeals Court Rules States Can Restrict Concealed Weapons

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the right to carry a concealed weapon in public is not protected by the Second Amendment, according to NBC.

The San Francisco court upheld a law in California that limits who can get concealed-carry permits for guns. The ruling from the federal court can only be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, and that appears unlikely to happen, according to Slate.

Concealed Carry appeals court
[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]California only allows citizens with a "good cause" to get a concealed carry permit, and that cause can be something like having a job that requires a gun. The ruling was 7-4, and it was an upsetting decision for many gun rights advocates.

"Based on the overwhelming consensus of historical sources, we conclude that the protection of the Second Amendment — whatever the scope of that protection may be — simply does not extend to the carrying of concealed firearms in public by members of the general public," read the ruling written by Judge William A. Fletcher, according to the New York Times.

The court did not issue any ruling on if carrying a gun in public is protected by the Second Amendment in general.

What is considered "good cause" is decided by county sheriffs in California, and the people challenging the law did not provide an acceptable reason for wanting to carry concealed weapons.

"This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection," Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1897 that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons." California is among many states that restrict who can get concealed carry permits.

Some states are moving toward having more people with concealed carry permits for their guns. Texas recently surpassed 1 million concealed carry permit, according to Town Hall. Gun owners typically cite self-defense as the reason for getting a permit.

appeals court concealed carry
[Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images]Missouri is moving toward making it so concealed carry permits last someone's whole life, instead of making them apply for a new one every few years, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lawmakers say it would save Missouri citizens time and money. Tennessee, Indiana, and Louisiana have similar policies.

"A lifetime carry permit holds the same rights and restrictions as any regular carry permit, the only difference is that the lifetime version means a lot less paperwork for the law-abiding gun owner. Other states have similar allowances without any issues so this provision shouldn't give Governor Nixon any pause when signing the bill," NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide said in a statement.

New Hampshire's Supreme Court recently ruled that restrictions on concealed carry permits for people from outside the state violated state statutes, according to the Washington Post. The New Hampshire Department of Safety had previously required non-residents to show a concealed carry permit from their home state in order to get one in New Hampshire. A New Jersey resident living in New Hampshire challenged that rule and won.

"We conclude that the challenged rules — requiring nonresidents to provide proof that they hold resident state licenses in order to obtain concealed-carry licenses in New Hampshire — are ultra vires [i.e., beyond the Department's powers] and, therefore, invalid," the court wrote.

Concealed carry rules for guns vary widely from state to state, and unless the U.S. Supreme Court makes a broad ruling on these kinds of policies, then things will likely stay that way.

[Photo by George Grey/Getty Images]