The use of firearms in the state of California has been a hot-button issue of late. Legislation is constantly being proposed at the state and municipal level to amend current gun laws – typically making them stricter. California's gun laws are considered among the strictest in the nation. Today, a federal appeals court ruled that a San Diego gun law violates citizens' 2 nd Amendment rights.
San Diego County passed a measure restricting concealed carry permits, granting them only to San Diego residents who were able to provide a "specific concern for personal safety." In response to the restrictive concealed carry law, San Diego citizens whose concealed carry permits were denied filed a lawsuit against the county. A judge ruled in favor of the county so the citizens appealed to the U.S. 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals who then overturned the lower court's ruling.
Anyone in the state of California can apply for a concealed carry permit, provided that their right to bear arms has not been taken away (ex: a prior felony offense). However, each county reserves the right to decide the qualifying standards for obtaining a concealed carry permit, so long as those standards do not violate the 2 nd Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Each county has interpreted California's standards for concealed carry permits differently. Essentially, the state says that anyone who has not had their right to bear arms taken away, who passes a background check, completes a safety course and has "good cause" shall be granted a concealed carry permit. What happened in this case was that San Diego interpreted "good cause" as "specific concern for personal safety."
Although the federal appeals court ruled to overturn San Diego County's gun law, this is not the end of the matter. Upon hearing the decision, San Diego has filed a stay on the opinion. The losing party will then likely appeal to the SCOTUS. Many are of the opinion that no matter how far this case goes, the 9 th Circuit Court's ruling will likely be upheld because it so closely resembles District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).