While the second amendment of the constitution allows a citizen to bear arms, there are many laws that are meant to limit that right. Many may not know that, in California, it is illegal to carry a gun in public without a concealed carry permit. This means that you are not allowed to carry a gun on your person, in your vehicle, or in someone else’s vehicle when you are not at your residence. While it is technically possible to obtain a permit, they are usually only granted to police officers, security guards, military personnel, and gun shop owners.
The crime of carrying a concealed weapon is serious. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, a conviction could lead to spending time in state prison. If you have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon, contact McElfresh Law Firm at (858) 756-7107. Perhaps you were unaware of the law, or maybe you were carrying the gun because you genuinely feared for your safety. Whatever the reason, you deserve to have your side of the story told. Our skilled San Diego weapons lawyers will work tirelessly to protect your freedom and work to get your charges dismissed, if possible.
Challenging the Concealed Carry Permit Law
The people of California have been disallowed from carrying concealed weapons in public since 1897. In essence, the concealed firearm law forbids carrying a firearm outside of one’s house unless you are granted a concealed carry permit. Permits are usually granted to those who live in urban areas who claim they need a gun for self-defense. For those in metropolitan areas, however, permits are only granted in special circumstances. Many private citizens and gun groups do not approve of this policy, and some have taken a stand in an attempt to get the law eradicated.
In 2014, two private citizens and several firearms groups challenged California’s concealed carry law in the Ninth U.S. Circuit court. To the group’s amazement, the panel of three judges ruled in their favor with a vote of 2 to 1. Unfortunately, the state government appealed the ruling and was able to establish a new hearing with 11 judges. On June 9th of 2016, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted to uphold California’s concealed carry law with a final ruling of 7 to 4.
The gun rights activists and firearms groups plan on making their case to the United States Supreme Court. They plan on explaining that the initial ruling was in their favor but was then reversed as a result of the state’s tactics.
Is the Concealed Firearms Ban Constitutional?
When the courts ruled in favor of the challenge against the concealed carry law in 2014, their reason for doing so was founded upon their belief that the second amendment applies to weapons being carried both in and out of the home. Interestingly, the United States Supreme Court has not commented on whether or not the constitution protects the right to carry a firearm in public.
In the 7 to 4 June 9th ruling, however, the appeals court stated that neither the United States nor England has a history or tradition of carrying concealed firearms. In addition, a Supreme Court ruling in 1897 determined that a ban on carrying guns in public does not violate the second amendment.
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Since the Supreme Court remains undecided, it is possible that banning concealed weapons may be deemed unconstitutional. When the group from California brings their case to the Supreme Court, they may rule in their favor and eliminate the law entirely. For now, though, carrying a concealed weapon in public is highly illegal.
If you are accused of carrying a concealed weapon, contact Jessica McElfresh at (858) 756-7107 or online to see how we can help. Often times it can be shown that you had the weapon for a good reason. It could also be possible that you were unaware of the concealed firearm law. Whichever defense is chosen, our San Diego criminal attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your freedom and keep you out of jail.