California is one of the states with the strictest gun laws in the country. This could change depending on a court dispute, and the number of concealed handguns could multiply.
The current California law requires concealed-carry permit applicants to show “good moral character,” take a training course and establish “good cause” to get this kind of authorization.
County sheriffs have the discretion of rejecting applications if they don’t consider the applicant has good cause.
This was challenged when a San Diego Sheriff rejected a concealed weapon permit petition by an individual who then sued, calling the restrictions unconstitutional for violating his Second Amendment rights.
A federal judge dismissed the claim, then a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiff in February. That same tribunal denied a few days ago a bid by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and several police chiefs and sheriffs, who are worried that a bigger presence of guns in the street would have a negative impact on public safety.
The current law is not applied evenly. It is known that those permits are granted more easily in rural areas than urban ones.
If the court decision prevails, the current law will be nullified and sheriffs will have to hand out concealed-carry permits regardless the cause. Experts estimate that this would increase the number of people with concealed guns to as much as 5 percent of the state’s population, or 1.9 million Californians.
It is believed that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the case at some point, since there are 10 states with a law similar to California’s.
Gun enthusiasts want to eliminate all restrictions under the false idea that if everybody were armed, we would all be safer. Time and again this theory has proved wrong. We hope the judges will look around to realize this is not only a constitutional debate, but a matter of life and death