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Supreme disappointment: Gun rights eroded

| Saturday, July 8, 2017, 4:51 p.m.
A corset allows for the concealed carrying of a firearm. (AP Photo)
A corset allows for the concealed carrying of a firearm. (AP Photo)

As some states erode or otherwise restrict citizens' constitutional gun rights, more — not less — illumination is needed from the nation's highest court, especially with regard to concealed-carry laws.

Unfortunately that opportunity passed when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging California's concealed-carry handgun law. Residents applying for a concealed-carry license in the Golden State must demonstrate “good cause.” San Diego defines that as requiring a “particularized” need for self-defense beyond that of average citizens.

Petitioners in Peruta v. California argued that San Diego's policy confines concealed-carry licenses “to a narrow subset of law-abiding residents.” Although a three-judge panel rejected the San Diego policy as unconstitutional, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision. And failing a Supreme Court appeal, that ruling stands.

The right to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense is too important to be punted away. As Justice Clarence Thomas wrote after the high court declined to hear the California case, “(T)he Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives depend on it.”

And, indeed, just as Mr. Justice Thomas also noted, that protection extends to Americans who don't work in marble halls guarded by police.

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