Peruta v. San Diego is one of several cases challenging sheriff misapplication of California’s concealed handgun carry licensing statute. The case features Chuck Michel as lead attorney for plaintiffs. The case does not assert that California’s statute requiring a license to carry a concealed handgun for protection is unconstitutional. Rather, the argument is simply that the statute specifies that licenses should be issued to qualified applicants (training, good moral character) who have “good cause.” Pursuant to Heller, lawful self-defense is not only good cause, it is the best possible cause. The case has already survived a motion to dismiss.
Along with Prof. John Eastman, I filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Independence Institute, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, Doctors for Responsible Gun Owners, and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence. The arguments are:
I. The case can be decided without a standard of review, because near-total prohibition of a constitutional right is never constitutional.
II. A “reasonable” regulation is one that does not eliminate the exercise of a right, but instead is narrowly tailored, is based on a significant government interest, and leaves ample alternatives.
III. The state court cases approvingly cited in Heller expressly affirm the right to carry.
IV. Twentieth century state courts decisions affirm the general right to carry for lawful self-defense.
V. McDonald specifically addresses and prohibits mass deprivation of the right to bear arms.