A divided federal appeals court has struck down California's concealed weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that all law-abiding citizens are entitled to carry concealed weapons outside the home for self-defense purposes.
Former Sheriff John McGinnis says the ruling won't make a substantial change in Sacramento County,
"...because back in 2006-2007 we abandoned the requirement for good cause."
That doesn't mean, however, that just anyone can walk around with a weapon:
"If you have issues in your background, if there's something about you that indicates that you have a problem in terms of judgment, if you've got criminal convictions, things that would typically would prevent someone from owning a handgun anyway, you would not be issued a permit," advised McGinnis.
Today's 2-1 decision goes against the rulings of two other federal appeals courts that have upheld permit rules similar to California's. Cases where federal appeals courts issue conflicting rulings often end up being heard by the Supreme Court.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence issued a scathing response after the ruling,
"Neither history or precedent supports this aberrant, split decision that concocts a dangerous right of people to carry hidden handguns in public places to people whom law enforcement has determined that they have no good cause or qualifications to do so. The parents of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, whose children were killed by licensed concealed-carry holders, could educate the Court about the real dangers posed by this legal error. We are hopeful that this mistake will be corrected by the entire Court."