FPC Submits Coalition Brief to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Peruta v. San Diego Carry Case

FPC Submits Coalition Brief to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Peruta v. San Diego Carry Lawsuit

22 gun rights organizations and Second Amendment lawsuit plaintiffs argue that the Peruta decision should stand

9th-circuit-emblemDecember 24, 2014 (SACRAMENTO, CA) — While millions of Californians were preparing to celebrate the holiday season, attorneys for the Firearms Policy Coalition were busy filing an amici curiae brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the matter of Peruta v. San Diego, a lawsuit challenging the discretionary “may issue” handgun carry permit policies of San Diego Sheriff William Gore.

Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay of the Sacramento-based Benbrook Law Group penned the “friends of the court” brief on behalf of a diverse coalition of eleven Second Amendment civil rights organizations and eleven individuals who are parties to ‘right-to-carry’ lawsuits within the Ninth Circuit.

Following issuance of the Ninth Circuit’s February 13, 2014 panel decision that held Gore’s “heightened good cause” carry license application policy to be unconstitutional, the sheriff decided not to appeal the case further. In a February 21 press release, the sheriff said that “it is….the judiciary’s responsibility to interpret [laws] and their constitutionality,” and that “[l]aw enforcement’s role is to uphold and enforce the law.”

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who opposes Second Amendment civil rights and allowing law-abiding people to carry handguns for self defense in public, then sought to intervene in the case — a request that the Ninth Circuit denied in November. But that wouldn’t be the end of the Peruta litigation. In an interesting turn of events, the Court issued two subsequent orders in early December: One asking for briefing on the Peruta panel’s denial of Harris’ request to intervene, and another on the Court’s sua sponte (“on its own motion”) call for a vote for an en banc (“full court”) review of the panel’s February decision on the merits. The FPC brief effectively addresses both of those issues, concluding that “the Court should not rehear this case en banc.”

The Firearms Policy amici argued to the Court that “the State lacks standing to defend the county’s interest in this case because it has no role in the enforcement of the challenged policy,” but that even if the Court somehow found Harris to have standing to intervene, she should still not be allowed to participate as a party because “[c]onferring standing on the Attorney General here would invite state officials to meddle in litigation at their leisure—potentially disrupting the legal rights of those who actually hold them.”

“The California Attorney General’s office has long taken the position that plaintiffs who sue over a county’s policy for issuing concealed-carry permits lack standing to sue the Attorney General,” explained the amici, “because it has ‘no role in CCW license decisions.’ ”

“These very same arguments demonstrate why the Attorney General does not have standing to defend San Diego County’s policy—the Attorney General played no role in the underlying injury and cannot redress it.”

FPC’s brief can be viewed or downloaded at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2014-12-24-Peruta-amici-brief-opposing-rehearing-FILED.pdf.

The complete list of amici who joined the brief are as follows:

Institutional Amici

  • California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, Inc.
  • Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc.
  • Firearms Policy Foundation, Inc.
  • Florida Carry, Inc.
  • Gun Rights Across America
  • Hawaii Defense Foundation
  • Illinois Carry
  • Knife Rights Foundation, Inc.
  • Liberal Gun Owners Association
  • Madison Society, Inc.
  • Pink Pistols
Individual Amici (parties to materially similar or legally-identical cases)
  • Christopher Anderson
  • Christopher Baker
  • Jonathan Birdt
  • Michael Dozier
  • Ari Friedman
  • David Marcinkus
  • Ari Miller
  • Tom Scocca
  • Sigitas Raulinaitis
  • Rima Raulinaitis
  • Robert Thomson

Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is a non-profit organization that serves its members and the public through direct and grassroots advocacy, legal efforts, technology, and education. The purposes of FPC include defending the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.