The state of California has always allowed possession of firearms inside the home by law-abiding persons. However, the state does not allow carrying concealed firearms outside the home without a permit. These permits are issued by the various counties. In a surprise decision, the Federal 9th Circuit court, which covers California and other Western states, ruled that a county cannot preclude law-abiding individuals from carrying concealed weapons by requiring concealed weapons permits.

The 9th Circuit held that this is a violation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. constitution, commonly known as the right to bear arms.

The 9th Circuit is at odds with several other U.S. Federal Circuit courts who have taken up this issue. The reasoning is that the right to self-defense is not just confined to the home, so law-abiding individuals should not have to demonstrate special needs to County Sheriffs for a concealed weapon permit.

“To be clear, we are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Justice O’Scannlain wrote in Peruta v. County of San Diego. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

This decision will certainly impact the issuing of permits for concealed carry. It is difficult to determine what effect it will have on people who are arrested for possession of concealed weapons, since permit standards for law-abiding citizens has been changed by this decision.

If you or someone you know is accused of a crime, arrested, or contacted by police, contact San Jose criminal defense attorney Maureen Baldwin at (408) 279-4450 to learn your options today!