**Ninth Circuit strikes down California restriction on bearing arms
In its opinion in Edward Peruta v. County of San Diego, 10-56971 published on Thursday, Feb. 13, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals relied on historical analysis and legal precedent to overturn a lower court ruling and declare unconstitutional California’s restriction on the right of an individual to keep and bear arms.
The San Diego regulation specifically required individuals to apply for a permit to carry, and required a good reason for the permit to be issued. Further, a general desire to be ready to defend oneself was not acceptable as a a good reason.
The appeal came from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Chief District Judge Irma E. Gonzalez presided.
The three-member panel for the Ninth Circuit consisted of Diarmuid Fionntain O’Scannlain, Sidney R. Thomas, and Consuelo Maria Callahan.
According to Judge O’Scannlain: “We are called upon to decide whether a responsible, law-abiding citizen has a right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
After lengthy historical analysis to understand the scope of the original right as captured in the Second Amendment, the Ninth Circuit opinion states on page 48, “Put simply, a law that destroys (rather than merely burdens) a right central to the Second Amendment must be struck down.”
Further: “For if self-defense outside the home is part of the core right to ‘bear arms’ and the California regulatory scheme prohibits the exercise of that right, no amount of interest-balancing under a heightened form of means-ends scrutiny can justify San Diego County’s policy.”