California reps sign brief for right to carry guns

Two California congressmen are among 34 GOP lawmakers who have signed onto a legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Second Amendment secures the right to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense.

The brief signed by Reps. Doug LaMalfa, R-Oroville, and John Campbell, R-Irvine, urges the high court to review the Drake, et. al. v. Jerejian, et. al. case that was decided last July by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Four New Jersey residents and two organizations had challenged a state law requiring that people show a “justifiable need” for a permit to carry a handgun outside the home; they lost both in the district and appellate courts.

“We conclude that the District Court correctly determined that the requirement that applicants demonstrate a ‘justifiable need’ to publicly carry a handgun for self-defense qualifies as a ‘presumptively lawful,’ ‘longstanding’ regulation and therefore does not burden conduct within the scope of the Second Amendment’s guarantee,” the appeals court concluded.

Second Amendment Foundation founder and executive vice president Alan Gottlieb said he’s glad so many members of Congress signed onto the brief urging the high court to take the case.

“The Supreme Court has already affirmed that the right to keep and bear arms applies to individual citizens, so it simply makes sense that this right extends beyond someone’s doorstep,” Gottlieb said. “A right limited to someone’s home unless a citizen can demonstrate some nebulous ‘justifiable need’ is not a right at all, but a heavily-regulated privilege.”

UPDATE @ 12:43 P.M.: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled today in a similar case, finding San Diego’s – and by extension, many other California counties’ – requirements for proving “good cause” for a concealed carry permit are unconstitutionally restrictive. Read my full story here.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Damn’ liberal 9th Circus judges, anyway!

  • Clay Cooper

    In 2005 Supreme Court of the United
    States (SCOTUS) ruling that received little attention when handed down, but
    which is extremely pertinent to today’s gun debate, found that police officers
    are not constitutionally bound to protect citizens.

    Those who oppose
    legalizing the right to self protection argue that we don`t need a right to
    self protection because of a relatively low crime rate (in their mind that is
    and one death is one too many in our book). In essence, these opponents are
    saying whatever the levels of deaths, rapes, assaults, robberies and other
    violent crimes every day constitute an acceptable level of criminal violence
    and they truly believe people’s lives are expendable to further their agenda
    and Law Enforcement show up just in time
    to draw the chalk lines with those hardest hit are the minorities and poor people with less access
    to legal defense.

    I listen to
    those who are for or against concealed carry & open carry including just
    flat out against having a firearm. What is obvious is about the antigun gun
    side, their beliefs are not at all based on facts and definitely ill informed.
    They have no practical experience or they must carry the tune from higher up
    with malicious intents. But most of all, they believe you must share in their
    own sickness (hoplophobia) and beliefs, there is no other way but there way. To
    own, to carry or not to own or not to carry should be left to one’s own
    choices. Governments will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from
    maniacs and crime, but are in reality, it is the bureaucrats protecting their
    power and position.” As one Luby Massacre Survivor to Senate: “I’m Not a Victim
    of Guns, But of Lawmakers Who ‘Legislate Me Out of the Right to Protect Myself
    and My Family’”

    As for
    myself, I’ve been a victim once, never again!

  • JohnW

    Goody. If this sticks, I will now have the means to deal with unruly owners at HOA board meetings. Now, if we can just get one of those License to Kill — er, I mean Stand Your Ground laws like Florida’s, nobody will ever again get away with taking my parking spot at the mall.

  • Elwood

    I recommend the .50 caliber American Eagle handgun, John. You can kill a car with it by shooting it through the engine block.

  • I think you mean the “Desert Eagle,” Elwood. I dunno; when I tried one of those out some years ago, it stovepiped like a sonuvabitch.

  • JohnW

    Thanks for the recommendation, but I don’t know if that will be sufficient. I need mine to be bigger than MichaelB’s. Double entendre intended.

  • Kingofthehill

    Either a very weird joke or trolling anti-gunner

  • JohnW

    The three-judge panel in this case included two of the 9th circuit’s most conservative judges. I’m guessing the panel was randomly assigned and that the full circuit court will rule differently. The different circuits are all over the map on this, and who knows how the Supremes will rule. But they have previously indicated that restrictions on CW would be permissible if not unduly burdensome, whatever that means.

  • MichaelB

    Why am I not surprised you would say something like this when someone challenges the knee jerk/left wing status quo that gun owners/potential permit holders are just “part of the problem” in our society?

    I’m still waiting to hear from you how many states that now/have issued permits have had to repeal those laws because of the rampant misconduct/misuse from those receiving them? Where are all of the “wild west shootouts” that gun control supporters guaranteed would happen when states started allowing more people to have permits?

  • MichaelB

    This would be pertinent if gun control supporters actually wanted to have a “debate”. They don’t. They are here to impose their beliefs on everyone else – “guns are bad/we need to get rid of them”. Facts don’t matter to them.

    When gun control laws/bans do not deliver the results that were promised we will be told that more (for the law abiding, that is) are “necessary”.

  • JohnW

    First, you make the assumption that everyone who opposes “anytime, anywhere” gun policy is left wing.

    The answer to your question is obviously that none of the states that have embraced those policies in recent years has reversed course. For better or worse, your side is winning big time. Woe to any politician who dares to defy the trend. Most of the country now is way beyond what people in the 19th Century would have imagined or allowed regarding place and manner of carriage.

    At the moment, Florida is the poster child as to what can go wrong. You know, those good, law-abiding citizens who had a bad day and showed “poor judgement.” George Zimmerman, the retired cop killing a guy for texting in the movie theater and the computer programmer killing a guy for playing loud music in a parking lot. Yes, these high profile cases can be counted on one hand. But it stands to reason that the more high testosterone people you have strutting around with loaded guns in the name of self-defense or just to be cool, the more cases there will be of people having bad days that end really badly for somebody else.

    I doubt yesterday’s three-judge opinion in the San Diego concealed carry permit case will stand. However, if it does, I would rather that we ban concealed carry and allow open carry. At least that way, I can exercise my natural right to life by avoiding people who are packing.

    By the way, what’s your opinion on businesses or other private establishments being allowed to ban firearms on their property? Serious question. Either way presents some interesting issues.