New Case Involving Carry

NRA and CRPA are suing the San Diego Sheriff over their arbitrary carry license issuance policy.

The case challenges the application of California Penal Code section 12050, which allows a sheriff or police chief to issue a permit where “the person applying is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance,” and that the person is a resident of that county.  Under this law, sheriffs and chiefs of police often implement subjective standards for “good cause,” as well as residency requirements that are not constitutionally permissible.   The Complaint was originally filed in October 2009 by a local activist. It survived a motion brought by the County to dismiss the case.  In the Order denying that motion, the Judge confirmed that the constitutional claims were valid, and that the County’s arbitrary permit issuance policy may very well be unconstitutional.  The amended Complaint adds both more plaintiffs and more legal claims for relief. Documents relating to the case are posted at

This would be another case, in addition to Palmer in the DC Circuit, being argued by Alan Gura, that involves the right to “bear” arms, rather than just to keep arms. The cases are a bit different due to the different type of law that they are challenging. The CRPA/NRA case would seem to hinge on the arbitrary and capricious nature of issuance, while the Palmer case in DC hinges on their now allowing a non-resident of DC any means at all for carrying a firearm.

7 thoughts on “New Case Involving Carry”

  1. It might have, but I seem to recall that the individual right view is not yet law in the 9th, because the ruling was appealed. It would have to be upheld by the en banc panel, and only then would it become law for that circuit. As it is, the en banc panel has deferred its ruling in order to wait for McDonald. At least this is what I think. I’m not all that sure.

    I would also say since this case was not originally brought by NRA or CRPA, they didn’t have much control over the timing, and I guess figure there’s nothing wrong with a head start.

  2. I think this is actually how many of the “may-issue” and purchase permit laws will be challenged post-McDonald.

    Not using the argument that there is a “right to carry”, which opens up the same old gun platitudes on both sides, but by attacking existing restrictions as either arbitrary, if not outright discriminatory, in application or, as the RKBA is a fundamental right, that restrictions that have disparate impact on access by presumptively suspect classes like race are inherently discriminatory and thus unConstitutional.

    In New York for instance, high permit costs and restrictions to “large cash business owners” and such keep the poor, disproportionately minorities, from having the same access to exercise of the right, even of mere possession, as the wealthy. Those kind of restrictions are as vulnerable to challenge as poll taxes, even with just Intermediate scrutiny.

  3. Right – it was filed in response to the ruling that got suspended (essentially) by Mcdonald. At the time it was filed there was some question as to whether the original ruling would be taken up en-banc, since the pro-gun side lost the suit (depsite the incorporation ruling) – consequently the county .gov couldn’t appeal.

    That was roughly 2 years ago and my menory is a little hazy at this remove.

  4. Considering how much trouble Jim March went to to establish that the best way to get a carry permit in Cali was to kick Two Large into the Sheriff’s re-election fund, I’m amazed that it has taken this long to challenge the capricious, etc., nature of “May Issue.”

    But, the momentum is finally there, so jump on it…

  5. Interesting historical trivia re: San Diego County Sheriff Gore

    Gore was one of the lead FBI agents directing efforts at Ruby Ridge Idaho during the siege of the Weaver family in August 1992. When Gore was compelled to testify before the 1995 U.S. Senate Judiciary sub-committee investigating the Ruby Ridge incident, Gore pled the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering the questions of the sub-committee.

    How lucky is San Diego to have a Sheriff like Gore, eh?

  6. Oh, I almost forgot, there is an election this June for Sheriff of San Diego County, and yes, Sheriff Gore is running for office (he was originally appointed to Sheriff).

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