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California: Important Briefs Filed to Hold on to Victory in Lawsuit Protecting the Right to Bear Arms

In February 2014, the NRA and CRPA sponsored Peruta v. San Diego County case resulted in a monumental ruling by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That decision held that the San Diego County Sheriff's policy of refusing to issue licenses to carry firearms in public unless an applicant could demonstrate a special need beyond general self-defense, was an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment. Though Sheriff Gore accepted the ruling and publicly stated he would not seek to overturn it, on March 26, 2015, the Ninth Circuit itself took the rare step of ordering the case to be re-heard by an eleven-judge "en banc" panel, setting an argument date of June 16, 2015, at 3:30pm in San Francisco, California.

In response, NRA recently filed a significant amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief supporting the Peruta plaintiffs and asking that the en banc panel uphold the three-judge panel decision, as did several other civil rights groups, State Governors, prominent law enforcement officials and organizations, and a large number of state Attorneys General. The specific groups and individuals who filed amicus briefs supporting plaintiffs, including links to their briefs, are as follows:

The Governors of Texas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Dakota

Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisina, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, & Wisconsin

International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, Law Enforcement Action Network, and Law Enforcement Alliance of America

Western States Sheriffs' Association; Sheriff Adam Christianson; Sheriff Jon Lopey; Sheriff Margaret Mims; Sheriff Tom Bosenko; David Hencratt; Sheriff Steven Durfor; Sheriff Thomas Allman; Sheriff David Robinson; Sheriff Scott Jones; Sheriff Bruce Haney; Sheriff John D'Agostini; and Retired Sheriff Larry Jones

Congress of Racial Equality, Inc.

Pink Pistols, Women Against Gun Control, Inc., and Second Amendment Sisters

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Commonwealth Second Amendment, Gun Owners' Action League, and Maryland State Rifle & Pistol Association

The Madison Society, Inc.

Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, The Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., Policy Analysis Center, Institute on the Constitution and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund

Such a strong and diverse showing of support of the Peruta plaintiffs demonstrates that Second Amendment rights cut across social lines and are desired to be enjoyed by all types of Americans, not just by those who have a good enough reason to exercise them according to a government official. The amount and the nature of the amicus briefs filed in support of overturning the three-judge panel's pro-Second Amendment ruling, on the other hand, were underwhelming to say the least:

League of California Cities

State of Hawaii

Everytown for Gun Safety

Intervenor, State of California State of California's Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief

If the eleven-judge en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit reverses the three-judge panel's decision, Mr. Peruta and the other plaintiffs, with continued support from the NRA, CRPA, and their legal teams, will petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review. If the en banc panel affirms the decision that requiring a special need to carry a firearm is an unconstitutional restriction, the anti-gun forces will likely do the same. So no matter what happens as a result of the rehearing en banc, Peruta will likely not end here, and will only end when the Supreme Court either declines to rehear it or rehears it and renders a final decision.

For those who are interested in learning more about this critical Second Amendment case, NRA News has produced an outstanding video and Americas First Freedom magazine published an enlightening article about the case.

Help Us Help You

Please help us fight for your right to choose to own a gun for sport, or to defend yourself and your family. The NRA and CRPA work together in California to fight for you in Sacramento, in cities and counties across the state, in regulatory agencies, and in the courts. Even with the generous rates that our team of civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, experts and consultants grant us, these ongoing efforts are still expensive. You can support our pro-Second Amendment efforts in California by donating to the California Rifle & Pistol Association Foundation (CRPAF). CRPAF is a 501(c)(3), so contributions to CRPAF are tax-deductible. Or donate to NRA Legal Action Project. All donations will be spent to specifically benefit California gun owners.

Second Amendment supporters should be careful about supporting litigation or other efforts promised by other individuals and groups that lack the experience, resources, skill, or legal talent to be successful. The NRA and CRPA national team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, and scholars has the experience, resources, skill and expertise needed to maximize the potential for victory in California's often hostile political environments.

For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA and CRPA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the Peruta case, click here.