The Ninth Circuit, in an en banc decision of Peruta v. Cty. of San Diego, has ruled that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual’s right to carry a concealed weapon in public. This in effect ratifies jurisdictions’ use of “may issue” permitting, requiring individuals to show good cause to obtain a concealed carry license.
From the ruling:
The en banc court held that the history relevant to both the Second Amendment and its incorporation by the Fourteenth Amendment lead to the same conclusion: The right of a member of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment.
Therefore, because the Second Amendment does not protect in any degree the right to carry concealed firearms in public, any prohibition or restriction a state may choose to impose on concealed carry — including a requirement of “good cause,” however defined — is necessarily allowed by the Amendment. The en banc court stated that there may or may not be a Second Amendment right for a member of the general public to carry a firearm openly in public, but the Supreme Court has not answered that question.
So let’s recap. According to this ruling, there is no right under the Constitution to carry a concealed firearm. But since the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, it would then follow that Americans have a right to carry a gun openly. Or so one would assume.
While the Ninth allows as much in their ruling, they point out that such a question hasn’t been decided by the Supreme Court. Who knows what kind of emanations and penumbras the justices might divine when pondering such a weighty question? One thing’s for sure: should the question come before the court — as the Peruta ruling would seem to make more likely — President Clinton’s eventual appointee will no doubt do some deep digging in order to deny even that freedom.