Tuesday is a big day for gun rights in the Golden State.
An 11-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear arguments for Peruta v. San Diego County, the case that challenged California’s may-issue concealed carry issuing standard that requires one to show “good cause” for obtaining a permit.
“Good cause” is inherently unconstitutional as it assumes that one’s simple right to self-defense is not a sufficient reason for bearing arms outside the home. Instead, one must provide local law enforcement with documentation of a threat, e.g. restraining order, police report, or prove that their occupation is particularly hazardous, e.g. security guard, armored truck transporter, to satisfy the “good cause” mandate.
Last year, a three-judge panel in a split decision ruled that the “good cause” requirement was unfairly restrictive. But that decision was appealed for an en banc review, meaning that the case would be heard once again by the 9th Circuit but this time in front of 11 judges as opposed to only three.
Hopefully, the initial ruling stands and a majority of the judges agree that “good cause” is an infringement to the Second Amendment. Then again, we’re talking about the 9th Circuit which has been notoriously anti-gun in other cases examining gun rights.
As we wait for the ruling, here is what concealed carry looks like in the Golden State by the numbers according to Reveal.com:
- 70,593 – The number of Californians with an active concealed carry permit. That’s about 0.2 percent of the state population, well below the national average. There are an estimated 11 million concealed gun permits nationwide, representing about 5 percent of the population.
- 316 – The number of judges permitted to carry a concealed gun in California. More than a quarter of them – 87 – reside in Los Angeles County, more than twice the next highest county.
- 16,106 –The number of pending permits as of Dec. 31, 2014. This number has gone up every year since 2012, when there were fewer than 5,000 pending permits. Many are on hold until the 9th Circuit Court issues its final decision in Peruta v. San Diego County.
Of the roughly 70,000 active permits in California, more than half are clustered in seven counties:
- Fresno: 7,647
- Kern: 6,479
- Shasta: 5,906
- Sacramento: 5,769
- Tulare: 3,967
- San Bernardino: 3,264
- Orange: 3,132
Source: California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms
(H/T Gun.com, Chris Eger and Joey Clementine)