What Is The Gun Rights Lawsuit Peruta v. San Diego?

What is Peruta v. San Diego?

Peruta v. County of San Diego is a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn California’s system of issuing concealed-weapon permits.

Wikipedia:

“Under San Diego’s policy, a ‘typical’ responsible, law-abiding citizen in San Diego County cannot bear arms in public for self-defense” because by San Diego’s definition, typical citizens fearing for their personal safety cannot ‘”distinguish [themselves] from the mainstream'” and receive concealed carry permits. (Peruta v. San Diego (9th Cir, 02-13-14) p. 54.)

Wikipedia states that California does not allow the open carry of firearms whether loaded or unloaded. (Cal. Pen. Code §§ 25850, 26155.) “Thus, the court found San Diego County’s restrictive policy in combination with California’s denial of open carry ultimately resulted in the destruction of the typical law-abiding, responsible citizen’s right to bear arms in any manner in public, thereby violating the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Unless overridden, the decision will force California to become a shall-issue state in regards to concealed carry permits.”

This website – OK, Fine – takes no sides on the Peruta v. San Diego case.  This article is for informational purposes only.

Edward Peruta is the lead plaintiff in Peruta v. (County of) San Diego.

In 2008, Peruta applied for a “concealed carry” permit to carry gun in San Diego, where he spends part of the year living in his 40-foot Country Coach mobile home.  He told the county sheriff’s office that he needed a gun for self-defense in his RV and while doing his job as a legal investigator and spot-news videographer who sells shots of crime scenes and accidents to media outlets.

The sheriff’s office denied his application and appeal, finding that he wasn’t a San Diego resident and could not demonstrate any specific threats to his safety.

Peruta has gun permits in Connecticut, Florida, and Utah, and he took the denial as a challenge.  “I asked him where the hell he thought he came from. He asked me what I meant. And I said, ‘Is there a federal court in this town?’ And the rest is history.”

Peruta, now in his 60’s,  has lived an unorthodox life which includes a long list of legal scuffles, unemployment, a brief and turbulent stint as a police officer, and involvement in a securities-fraud case.

Peruta’s refusal to take no for an answer has gained him a reputation in his home state of Connecticut as a thorn in the sides of bureaucrats and a liberator of public information over the years, writes Mother Jones magazines.

Currently, the state’s police chiefs and sheriffs may require applicants to show “good cause” for carrying a concealed gun in public, writes Mother Jones magazine. Such discretion is applied arbitrarily and violates the Second Amendment, according to Peruta and his legal team, which is backed by the NRA.

That argument swayed two judges on the 9th Circuit Court, who ruled in Peruta’s favor in February. For a moment, it seemed that California would join the 37 “shall issue” states that issue concealed-carry permits to anyone who meets basic requirements such as a background check. Then California Attorney General Kamala Harris successfully petitioned the court to reconsider the ruling “en banc.”

(An “en banc” session is a session where a case is heard before all the judges of a court – in other words, before the entire bench – rather than by a panel selected from them, according to Wikipedia).

Next Tuesday – June 16th –  an 11-judge panel in San Francisco will hear oral arguments in the case.

Sources state that both sides of the gun debate are watching Peruta intently. “If the California permitting system were struck down, that could be the difference between tens of thousands of people and a million or more people carrying in public,” predicts Mike McLively, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which has filed an amicus brief in support of the current law.

Gene Hoffman, chairman of the Calguns Foundation is sponsoring a similar case that will be heard alongside Peruta’s.  He expects the Supreme Court to step in after the 9th rules: “I think they’re going to take this case whatever direction it goes.”

The NRA has said Peruta “presents an opportunity for the Supreme Court to settle some Second Amendment issues that desperately need resolving.”

What triggered Peruta’s case, writes Mother Jones, is what has set off a lot of his challenges over the years: A public official telling him he couldn’t have what he believed he was entitled to by law.

“I am who I am,” Peruta says. “People know there’s usually a hurricane comin’ if they step on my rights.”

(Updated article)

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