'Peruta' Decision and 2nd Amendment Rights as Applied to Concealed-Carry Laws


Douglas I. Richards, U.S. Law Shield of Colorado Independent Program Attorney
Douglas I. Richards, U.S. Law Shield of Colorado Independent Program Attorney

Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court has not formally recognized a Second Amendment right for a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public, says Douglas I. Richards, U.S. Law Shield of Colorado Independent Program Attorney.

In declining to review this issue in Peruta v. California, the Supreme Court of the United States has effectively given authority to every state, or even municipalities in non-preemption states, to determine what will disqualify an individual from obtaining a concealed carry permit.

In other words, any jurisdiction in the United States may independently create specific requirements that must be satisfied by all applicants prior to issuing a concealed carry permit.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in Peruta that San Diego County, California’s policy requiring a valid showing of “good cause,” in addition to other legal requirements, was not a constitutional violation because the Second Amendment does not instill a right upon citizens to conceal carry a firearm in public, Richards said.

In San Diego County, Richards explained, all applicants must provide a “good cause” reason, stated with specificity and beyond a general concern for wellbeing, as a prerequisite to obtaining a concealed-carry permit. As such, under the decision, Richards said any County may introduce requirements as they deem fit, beyond those specified in State and Federal law, prior to issuing a concealed carry permit to a resident of that County.

“Currently, no county in Colorado, where I’m from, requires a showing of ‘good cause,’ but any county could implement such a policy at any time that jurisdiction deems necessary,” Richards said.

Richards, with the Richards Carrington, LLC law firm,  further explained the current requirements and disqualifiers for a resident to obtain a concealed carry permit in Colorado Counties are as follows. The applicant:

(1) Is a Colorado resident;
(2) Is age 21 or older;
(3) Is not precluded by state or federal law from owning or possessing a firearm;
(4) Does not chronically or habitually abuse alcohol;
(5) Is not an unlawful user of or addicted to controlled substances;
(6) Is not the subject of a civil or criminal restraining order;
(7) Completed a background check, including fingerprint verification by FBI/CBI;
(8) Demonstrates competence with a handgun;
(9) Provides a completed application, copy of training certificate, copy of driver’s license, proof of residency, and application fee.

Resulting from the Supreme Court’s denial to review the Second Amendment issue listed above, any County in Colorado may implement additional requirements, as there is no currently recognized Second Amendment right to conceal carry in public.

Richards said, “I invite Members in Colorado to contact me with any questions they may have regarding this decision.”

Texas and U.S. Law Shield President Kirk Evans pointed out, however, that, “The law in Texas and other states with preemption statutes is significantly different. Texas law forbids individual municipalities from acting on their own when it comes to the carrying of firearms.”

Evans also warned, “These preemption laws vary from state to state in their breadth and applicability, so make sure to check with an Independent Program Attorney in your state if you have any questions.”

To see what an Independent Program Attorney from your state says about the topic of pre-emption, click the links below to see if the Peruta decision gives local officials the ability to restrict your carry rights. Also, attend a Gun Law Seminar to learn more about your state rules. Click here to see what’s available in your state.

Can Your Town Outlaw Your Guns?








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