Governor Abbott Leads Coalition In Filing Amicus Brief Opposing California’s Restriction On Conceale

February 17, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today led a collation of nine Governors in filing an Amici Curae – or friend of the court brief – to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Edward Peruta; Michelle Laxson; James Dodd; Leslie Buncher, Dr.; Mark Cleary; California Rifle And Pistol Association v. the County of San Diego. At stake is whether Californians, and citizens of other states traveling in California, can exercise their 2nd Amendment right to carry a concealed handgun.

“The question presented is whether the State of California can single out one group of disfavored citizens—namely, gun owners—and impose unique burdens on their fundamental rights,” reads the brief. “If this were a case about speech, the right to counsel, or any of the myriad rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, every federal court in this country would reject California’s arguments out of hand. Indeed, no other group of private citizens has to prove—to the satisfaction of a government official vested with unreviewable and boundless discretion—that they really need to exercise their fundamental constitutional freedoms.”

Governor Abbott previously took action on this lawsuit in April 2015, when he filed an Amicus Brief making a parallel argument. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later held there is no Constitutional right to carry a concealed handgun and citizens must show “good cause” before they can obtain such a license. Following the ruling, the case was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Joining Governor Abbott in objecting to the Ninth Circuit’s ruling are the Governors of Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, South Carolina and South Dakota.

The brief concludes by pointing out that the Constitution exists to protect citizen’s rights from a government that would seek to take them away. “It might be true that statewide elected officials in California have strong political incentives to infringe 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.' U.S. Const. amend. II. But the Constitution never was intended to disappear where policymakers in Sacramento find it inconvenient, nor was it intended to protect only those rights that enjoy popular support or universal acceptance.”