Why the 9th Circuit case "good cause" ruling is so important

When we wrote about the 9th Circuit decision  Peruta v. San Diego, we were thrilled that what is typically the most liberal court in the United States affirmed the right not just to keep armed, but to bear them in self-defense. While the specific case was aimed at the “good cause” clause of San Diego County’s concealed carry law which in practice made concealed carry almost impossible, the legal reasoning in the decision set the stage to target other may issue.

A similar legal battle against restrictive “justifiable need” provisions in a “may issue” law is being fought in New Jersey:

Wyoming is leading a coalition of 19 states asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let them submit a brief supporting a New Jersey man’s challenge to that state’s concealed weapons law.

The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, acting as lawyer for Wyoming and the other states, on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to grant a hearing to John M. Drake and others who are challenging a recent appeals court ruling.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last summer ruled against Drake’s challenge to a provision in New Jersey law that says people seeking permits to carry a concealed firearm must prove to police that they have a justifiable need.

The brief from Wyoming Attorney General’s Office says that Wyoming and the other states are concerned that if the appeals court ruling stands, it could threaten their less-restrictive concealed carry laws.

“This decision out of New Jersey impacts the right to keep and bear arms outside of the home,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said Wednesday. “So, I felt it was necessary to have the attorney general support a petition to the Supreme Court to hear this case.

It is far too early to make predictions, but “may issue” laws themselves—at least as currently written—may eventually find themselves in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, battling for their very existence.

This is a good thing, as we take back our rights one court decision at a time.