Why the long face?
Why the long face?

Yolo County’s “good cause” permitting scheme has been deemed unconstitutional as the Ninth Circuit continues down the path it established in Peruta vs. Gore with today’s Richards vs Prieto (PDF) ruling.

Congratulations are in order for The Second Amendment Foundation and The Calguns Foundation:

The Second Amendment Foundation and The Calguns Foundation earned a significant victory today when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case of Richards v. Prieto, challenging the handgun carry license issuing policy of Yolo County, California, Sheriff Ed Prieto.

“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily-regulated government privilege.”

The case was originally filed in 2009 as Sykes v. McGinness, and challenged not only Yolo County’s policies, but Sacramento County’s then-restrictive practices as well. SAF, Calguns and two private citizens, Adam Richards and Brett Stewart, continued pursuing the case against Yolo County after Sacramento County agreed to relax its policy. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Alan Gura and Don Kilmer.

“We are confident that the win today will stand the test of time,” said Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman.

The Richards case was argued at the same time, and to the same panel, that earlier decided Peruta v. County of San Diego, a similar case challenging overly-restrictive carry license policies. Yolo County and Sheriff Prieto argued that their policies were distinguishable from those struck down in Peruta, but apparently the three-judge panel unanimously disagreed.

“The Ninth Circuit’s decision moves our Carry License Compliance Initiative forward,” explained CGF Executive DirectorBrandon Combs. “We’re already preparing the next phase of litigation to ensure that all law-abiding Californians can exercise their right to bear arms.”

The battle for “shall issue” concealed carry is far from over and is being contested by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, though it remains to be seen if she has standing to intercede at this late hour.