Kamala Harris Appeals Gun Permit Law Ruling


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Kamala Harris, attorney general for California, this week filed a federal appeal over a ruling that declared a San Diego gun law unconstitutional.

Harris is asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to review a three-judge panel ruling the court issued in February. According to a Los Angeles Times report the appeal states that the case is "one of exceptional importance."

The case, Peruta v. San Diego, revolves around a San Diego County law requiring citizens to present specific "good cause" (such as documented personal safety concerns) before obtaining a concealed carry permit.

In February a Ninth Circuit panel issued a 2 to 1 ruling striking down the San Diego law. The panel found that the law violates the 2nd amendment to the U.S. constitution by denying law-abiding citizens their right to carry weapons in public.

Gun rights advocates praised the ruling while proponents of the law voiced concerns over how the ruling might affect gun violence in California. Following the ruling the San Diego County Sheriff's Department issued a statement conceding that, should the court's ruling take effect, it would issue concealed carry permits to applicants who met "all other lawful qualifications."

According to the Times report, the ruling could be used as precedent by gun rights advocates to challenge similar laws in other California counties. Harris' appeal states that striking down the law might allow anyone with "the bare assertion of a desire to carry a gun in public" to do so, undermining state gun laws allowing local officials to decide permit regulations.

The appeals court has not yet decided whether it will review the panel ruling.

Harris made headlines last year for taking on corporations suing the U.S. over birth control provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 5 to 4 that "closely held" corporations (such as Hobby Lobby) can be exempt from certain laws based on the corporation's professed religious beliefs.