Opening Brief Filed in Lawsuit Challenging San Diego County’s CCW Policies

Opening Brief Filed in NRA / CRPA Foundation Supported Lawsuit Challenging San Diego County’s CCW Policies

California Gun Laws Research

San Diego, CA –-( On May 23, 2011, the CRPA Foundation and a number of San Diego residents filed their opening brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in their appeal seeking to overturn a Southern District Court ruling from December 10, 2010 that upheld San Diego Sheriff William Gore’s restrictive and unfair policies in issuing permits to carry concealed firearms.

California law allows a permit to carry a concealed firearm (CCW) to be issued if an applicant has “good cause.” The lawsuit asserts that under the Second Amendment, a desire for self-defense must constitute “good cause” for the issuance of a CCW, and that Gore’s requirement that an applicant demonstrate some special need or a specific threat in order to get a CCW is an unconstitutional restriction on the right to keep and bear arms; specifically, the right to carry a loaded firearm in public for self-defense.

In a nutshell, the District Court held that rather than needing a CCW to defend oneself, since California law allows unloaded open carry of handguns one can carry unloaded and openly, and then act pursuant to a California law that requires you to wait until you are about to be attacked, then load your firearm (see Cal. Pen. Code section 12031(j)). Obviously, that is not an effective way to exercise your fundamental, individual constitutional right to defend yourself, nor to bear a firearm under the Second Amendment.

The brief points out that under any potentially applicable constitutional standard, banning people from carrying a loaded firearm in public unless they can show a special need does not pass Second Amendment muster. Accordingly, Plaintiffs are asking the Ninth Circuit to overrule the district court’s decision. (See opening appellate brief here).

The plaintiffs include several individuals who were either denied CCWs or do not qualify under the Sheriff’s strict issuance standards, as well as the CRPA Foundation. Copies of the court filings in the lawsuit can be viewed at

The lawsuit and appeal are being funded by the NRA-CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project (LAP). To fight for the self-defense civil rights of all Californians, the NRA and CRPA Foundation have joined forces. Through LAP, NRA/CRPAF attorneys fight against ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances, educate state and local officials about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and produce valid science about game and wildlife resource management. To contribute to the NRA/CRPAF Legal Action Project (LAP) and support this and similar efforts and Second Amendment litigation in California, visit or

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Charles Nichols

A 143 page brief and Chuck Michel raises a number of constitutional questions but fails to explicitly address the reason the judge ruled against him in the first place; his failure to explicitly challenge the constitutionality of any California statute. Also, the elimination of Gun Free Zones would be a good thing, The NRA/CRPA lawyer has a substantially different take. Quoting verbatim: "Nor did the court address the unintended legal consequences of declaring UOC the constitutionally protected method of carry. For instance, such a ruling may place in jeopardy the lawfulness of Cal. Pen § 626.9 (Gun Free School Zone… Read more »