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Arizona – -( Ed Peruta initiated the lawsuit that became the Ninth Circuit Court case, Edward Peruta v. County of San Diego. Not a lot has been written about the man who initiated the case with the potential to reform all the “may issue” concealed carry laws in the country. Recently, Mr. Peruta wrote a comment about the Ninth Circuits decision to hear the case en banc.  I found the comment on a Hawaii publication. Here it is from . . .

I have this comment regarding today’s ruling from the Ninth Circuit:

San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore has had the authority to issue Concealed Carry Permits to any non prohibited individual in San Diego County since before my application in 2008.

What I find hard to understand is the fact that every individual in California who possesses a valid Concealed Carry Permit, particularly those in Orange County to the north, are permitted by law to carry a concealed firearm for self defense in San Diego County while law abiding residents of San Diego County are denied the equal right to do likewise.

Sheriff Gore by denying law abiding residents of San Diego the right to carry firearms demonstrates his absolute disrespect for rights of every citizen in San Diego county.

I believe that every law abiding resident of San Diego County should be able to exercise their Second Amendment Right to carry a firearm for self defense, and thank the NRA for their continued support in my case.

Regardless of what the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decides in my case, the fact that Sheriff Gore has issued Concealed Carry Permits to those who are politically, socially or financially connected to San Diego politics is a matter of great concern that every resident of San Diego should be concerned with.

I was able to contact Mr. Peruta, and he generously allowed me to ask him some questions about the case.  There is too much to put in this one article.  Mr. Peruta is articulate, intelligent, and passionate.    He knows what he is doing, and he did not enter the fray as an uninformed naif.

Most people do not know that Mr. Peruta is a legal investigator for one of the most prominent firearms attorneys in Connecticut, Rachel M. Baird.  He understands the law and knows how to read statutes.  I was especially interested in his statement that “Sheriff Gore has issued Concealed Carry Permits to those who are politically, socially or financially connected to San Diego politics…”  

I asked Mr. Peruta about this allegation.  He responded by explaining that in the early part of the lawsuit, there was a period of discovery.    From Ed Peruta:

“We were able to to go in and  look at all of the good cause statements and applications of existing valid permit holders.”

He said that you could look at at least one of the applications, and the “good cause” statement was “almost identical” with his.     His personal information did not stop with a look at the people who already had permits in San Diego County.  He also related as to how he was discouraged from applying for a permit.  He was told by a person at the Sheriff’s office:

“Don’t waste your money.  You are probably not going to be approved, so don’t waste your money.”

The Sheriff’s office also demanded that he pay five times the appropriate amount to apply for the permit.  Under California law, they are supposed to take 20% of the fees.  If the permit is approved, they collect the rest of the fees.  The San Diego Sheriff’s office was demanding 100% up front.  Ed Peruta notified them of their violation of the law, and cited penal code 12054.  He demanded a refund of the excess.  The Sheriff’s office eventually backed down.  From Ed Peruta:

“They sent me a check.  I cashed it.”

The check was for $50.51. Mr. Peruta calls it the first firefight of the battle. Mr. Peruta served as a Marine, so he understands military analogies. He has military privileges that allow him to keep a vehicle at a military storage facility in San Diego, and he has relatives that keep his “Southern California wardrobe” with them, so he is able to fly without baggage, and spend time in Southern California as he desires.

The Sheriff’s office asked him where he voted.  He told them that it did not matter where he voted.  They told him that he would have to go to Los Angeles to apply for a permit.

It was after that that Mr. Peruta retained attorney Paul Newharth for a substantial amount of personal funds.

I asked Mr. Peruta if there was a specific point that he thought was missing from most of the coverage of the case.   He made this observation:

San Diego Count is almost the exact same number of square miles as the State of Connecticut.  There are about the same number of residents of San Diego Count as there are in the State of Connecticut.  There are 2,000 permits in San Diego.  There are over 200,000 permits in Connecticut.

Mr. Peruta also mentioned that any California resident who has a permit from Orange County, California, or any other Californian county, can legally carry concealed in San Diego, but almost no San Diego residents are allowed to do so.

In 2009, Ed Peruta said “People might be surprised that I am a dyed in the wool liberal  Democrat.”  In our conversation, he said “That was in 2009.  I am not a Democrat anymore.”

Mr. Peruta has plans to speak in San Diego County on April 25th.  I will have more details in a later article.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

[h/t DrVino]

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  1. Dean, thank you for the insightful interview with Mr. Peruta. Like him, I once was a registered and very involved Democrat. No longer.

    I am looking forward to future installments of this interview. Fascinating.

    I sure wish you well Mr. Peruta!

    • I’ve never been registered, but I too used to vote for Democrats. After the events of the past few years, I don’t see how anyone who values their civil and constitutional rights could vote for the Democratic party anymore. Unless they’re just not paying attention.

    • Yep, me too. If you want my vote then you have to support the Bill of Rights…all of them.

  2. San Diego Count[y] is almost the exact same number of square miles as the State of Connecticut. There are about the same number of residents of San Diego Count as there are in the State of Connecticut. There are 2,000 permits in San Diego. There are over 200,000 permits in Connecticut.

    What’s funny is that in 2013, according to the FBI’s UCR, there were a total of 60 homicides committed with (not “by”) guns in The People’s Republik of DIS-connected-cut, for a running rate of 1.67 per 100,000 residents. Whereas, in The People’s Republik of Kommiefornistan, there were 1,224 homicides committed with guns for a running rate of 3.19 per 100,000 residents for 2013.

    Fro total homicide rates, the City of Sand Diego recorded 39 homicides for a rate of 2.89 per 100,000, while The People’s Republik of DIS-connected-cut recorded 178 homicides for a rate of 2.4 per 100,000.

    The Sheriff of San Diego (and many other “elected” constables for that matter) is either willfully pig ignorant or is engaged in active cognitive dissonance. Period.

    • The Sheriff of San Diego (and many other “elected” constables for that matter) is either willfully pig ignorant or is engaged in active cognitive dissonance efforts to suppress of our rights. Period.

      There, fixed that for you.

      Can someone please tell me again why we owe any allegiance or consideration to a law enforcement officer who swore on oath to uphold the United States Constitution — which includes the Second Amendment — and who will not hesitate to kill someone who refuses to give up their Second Amendment right?

    • I can guarantee you that no politician (sheriffs included) gives a rat’s ass about facts or research unless it fits into their own agenda.

  3. A good man fighting a good fight. As always, statists in government have no just cause for denying 2nd Amendment rights to responsible citizens. Godspeed, Mr. Peruta.

    I might also add my enthusiasm that Mr. Peruta has abandoned the Democratic Party.

    • The court is the battlefield of the lawful. Anything we can do to support Mr Peruta is aiding his fight against the Tyranny threatening us all.

  4. “He said that you could look at at least one of the applications, and the “good cause” statement was “almost identical” with his.”

    This is interesting.

    An effort needs to be made to see as many of those applications as possible.

    And then apply for a permit using THE EXACT SAME REASON.

    When denied, sue under ‘equal opportunity under the law’ or whatever.

  5. Thanks for the report. Mr Peruta is a true American hero, and I do not mean because of his time as a Marine.

  6. People like Peruta mean well but do gunowners a disservice. We currently enjoy the public perception of an individual 2nd Amendment right to own firearms. Every time we sue for gun rights, we make it more probable for the Supreme Court or the 9th Circuit to rule against RKBA at the individual level. Even Heller and McDonald said nothing about individual rights, only that the extent of regulation was unreasonable. Let’s not force courts to decide between restricting government’s power and an ‘individual’ right that courts have always avoided – we will be unpleasantly surprised by the ruling!

    • The only thing you got right in that comment was “perception”: the Peruta lawsuit is not about ownership of firearms, but the ability to legally use them for self defence.

      One of the key points of the lawsuit is that there is no loaded or unloaded open carry in California; with the policies of certain Sherriffs and counties, it amounts to a de facto ban outside the house and (some) businesses.

      Sticking your head in the sand won’t help one wit. Without such lawsuits, it is not probable but CERTAIN that will we lose due to the incremental death by a thousand cuts that is government overregulation.

    • “Even Heller and McDonald said nothing about individual rights, only that the extent of regulation was unreasonable.”

      Oh really? Let’s roll the tape, shall we? From the text of the Heller decision:


      1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.”

      It’s the FIRST finding, for crying out loud!
      So either you’re in here blathering with assumed authority, without even having read the ruling, or else you’re just flat out lying through your teeth.

      Which is it? Could go either way. Regardless, you have zero credibility. So how about you sit down and hush up unless and until you have an honest and informed contribution to make?

      • From Wikipedia:

        “Consistently since the Heller ruling, the lower federal courts have ruled that almost all gun control measures as presently legislated are lawful and that according to UCLA professor of constitutional law Adam Winkler: “What gun rights advocates are discovering is that the vast majority of gun control laws fit within these categories.”[69]”

        The same has been said of McDonald.
        So…. Since courts usually uphold the restrictions as lawful, it is a waste of time to taunt the courts until they get tired and rule against an individual RKBA.
        Time and money is much better spent lobbying for changes in the law than arguing in the courts. Also, don’t resort to ad hominen attacks because you may push away someone who is on your side.

  7. “Sheriff Gore has issued Concealed Carry Permits to those who are politically, socially or financially connected to San Diego politics…”

    That has been the case in San Diego County since at least as far back as Sherriff John Duffy. CC for San Diego County residents has always been a “good ‘ol boys club” from as far back as I remember.

  8. I salute Edward Peruta for his sense of justice and dogged diligence in pursuit of a remedy to San Diego’s, indeed most of CA’s, continued infringement of our god given and Constitutionally protected right to bear arms.

  9. Mr. Peruta, you have my utmost respect for pursuing this as you have. It takes a special kind of person to take on the government and not loose their cool or just plain give up. I hope and pray for your success in this, and for much joy and happiness in your life. Keep up the good work!

  10. I tip my hat to Mr Peruta for his persistence too. And for taking good advice on how to become a “sympathetic plaintiff” as I recall some legal observers pointing out a few years back, lessons learned, PR wise, that went with the evolution of Mr Peruta’s legal representation.

    Lets say, its a team approach, and a whole LOT of credit goes to his attorneys, and to those who fund them, and dont forget a solid core of long-time gun rights supporters in a difficult environment…fpr example at calguns, and its informal off-shoots that became CGF, and the various orgs branching out and partnering even today…bringing in more talent, and money, to spawn other cases like Peruta.

    Point being, unity over controversy…and avoiding the traditional POTG circular firing squads AND presenting a careful PR strategy, to go with the careful patient legal strategy, was a hard won lesson, that is bearing fruit in the most difficult anti-gun environment in the nation…

    Semper Fi, Ed.

    • PS: the edit box was too fast for me, again- I wanted to add- I can’t think of a better, more experienced foot soldier on the ground in the CCW movement than Dean Weingarten, a true gentleman and patriot, to help tell this story to a new generation of the POTG, at TTAG. Thanks Dean.

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