Federal Appeals Court Rules Second Amendment Does Not Guarantee Right To Carry Concealed Weapon

John Houck - Author

Jun. 10 2016, Updated 11:29 a.m. ET

A federal appeals court ruling on the Second Amendment upheld a California law requiring gun permit applicants to provide a “good cause” for carrying a concealed weapon in public. The 7-4 decision on Thursday by the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals directly affects the rights of gun owners in many western states.

Explaining the court’s opinion, Judge William A. Fletcher wrote the Second Amendment does not include the right to have a concealed gun.

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“The Second Amendment may or may not protect to some degree a right of a member of the general public to carry a firearm in public. If there is such a right, it is only a right to carry a firearm openly. We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”

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According to the concealed-carry California law, a gun permit applicant must provide a reasonable cause to carry an unseen weapon, but it is up to local law enforcement agencies to define good cause and set the restrictions on permits. The rules and definitions vary widely from county to county.


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