2nd Amendment Doesn’t Allow for Concealed Firearms, Court Rules

Gun fetishists lost hard last week in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals as the court, in a sweeping ruling, held there is no Second Amendment right to carry a concealed firearm in public. It’s a significant decision and one that almost guarantees the Supreme Court will be re-entering the gun control debate in the coming term.

The legal challenge before the court was actually rather narrow. A Washington state man challenged Colorado’s law to issue Concealed Handgun License (CHL) permits only to state residents, arguing it was unconstitutional because it discriminated against out-of-states citizens. That challenge allowed the court to examine the underlying conceal and carry law, which is likely not what gun advocates had in mind.

The Colorado law at issue allows people to have a firearm in their homes, places of business and cars. But to carry a concealed weapon in public, a state resident must apply to a local sheriff to get a permit. Gray Peterson argued that the law left him “completely disarmed” when, as an out-of-state citizen he came to Colorado.

But neither the district court nor the Tenth Circuit agreed. First, and importantly, the court held the Second Amendment did not guarantee a right to carry a concealed firearm. Period. End of story. And to support that initial assertion the court cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller v. D.C., a decision gun enthusiasts adore because it struck the District of Colombia’s handgun ban.

The Tenth Circuit then goes on to explain how NRA-backed efforts at blocking reasonable information about gun purchasers are the real reason Peterson can’t get a permit. That’s because sheriffs use locally-maintained databases to check for misdemeanor and municipal court convictions involving drugs, alcohol or violence that will disqualify a citizen from a conceal and carry permit. Those local databases also include mental health contacts, 911 calls that do not result in an arrest, a history of aggressive driving, juvenile arrest records, plea agreements that result in deferred sentences, restraining orders in civil cases, and reports that a person is a danger to himself or others, all factors considered when issuing a permit.

Thanks to the NRA, none of this local information is stored in national databases. That means that non-residents cannot get a concealed-carry permit in the state, because there is simply no way for local sheriffs to get access to this kind of information held by other states, which they must have access to in order to comply with the issuing guidelines of the law.

The ruling is also significant because it comes from the gun-friendly 10th Circuit, which encompasses the red states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming in addition to Colorado and New Mexico. Should the Supreme Court review the decision, that is a fact that will be noticed. Also, the decision heavily relies on Heller, a decision many saw as an expansion of Second Amendment rights and of which conservatives are quite proud. For the Supreme Court to strike the Tenth Circuit ruling it would almost have to go back and undo or explain away parts of the Heller decision. The result would likely be as galvanizing to the gun control movement as the Citizens United movement has been to the progressive movement.


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Photo from robertnelson via flickr.

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Michael M.
Michael M.2 years ago

I wonder if the gun nuts even READ what the 2nd Amendment says? What part of "Well regulated militia" do you not understand? Or did you skip over that part?

Hell, you gun nuts who object to background checks are exactly the kind of people decent and normal people do not want to be handling guns in the first place!

Carole L.
Carole L.2 years ago

@Linda M. I'm glad your pup helped you to stay amongst the living.

Linda McKellar
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you Mary. I could have lost everything when all I had was an undiagnosed and very treatable physical problem and now I'm fine, no medication, nothing, only a CPAP machine. Although this scenario isn't strictly on topic, it's another danger of guns. How many others have finished the job with a permanent cure for a temporary problem just because the means to do so was handy and convenient.

Wanda B.
Wanda Bagram2 years ago

Carole L.- “I don't have a huge ego”
You do. You are the one who started addressing me as if you were on some higher moral stance, not the other way around. I didn’t even refer to you, just answering your attacks. Look in a mirror so you can direct your hypocrisy in another direction.

Mary B.
Mary B.2 years ago

Linda M.....I applaud you for your post... Not many would have the courage to share such a heart breaking story....... I am SO glad you had your "Princess".......
I guess this is another side to the "gun" saga......In my opinion, even if you have to shoot someone to protect yourself, you will have to live with the fact that you took another person's life.....even if he or she IS the bad guy......no one escapes the trauma.....
Thank goodness for our "Pups"

Linda McKellar
Past Member 2 years ago

Mary B and Carole L...A few years ago I suffered from a VERY severe depression. I had a rifle that had been my father's and was prepared to use it on myself when my dog Aberdeen bit me and actually pulled it away. Imagine that a 6 month old dog had enough sense to dislike a gun and realize its danger! As it turned out, the depression was due to sleep deprivation from undiagnosed sleep apnea. I got rid of the gun. That was 14 years ago. Since then I have worked saving lives instead of taking my own, travelled, met wonderful people like those here and had many great experiences in my life...and I could have "blown" it in a second because there was a gun in the house. I will NEVER go near one again.

Carole L.
Carole L.2 years ago

Wanda B
“Secondly, what makes you think I have any interest in what you desire?”

absolutely nothing leads me to 'think' you care about anyone else's desires but your own.

Wanda B
“You don’t know me, and I have probably saved a 100 times more lives than you have.”

You don't know me either, I don't have a huge ego demanding kudos nor do I and have a need to keep a tally of lives I've saved as to me, it's not a competition and ego does not come into play. Of course, like Linda M, & Mary B when I've saved a life I don't have to use a gun to accomplish that task. fyi like you, I do own fire arms and know how to use them. Unlike you, I'm not afraid to leave home w/out them.

Mary B.
Mary B.2 years ago

Linda M.....Me too......

Linda McKellar
Past Member 2 years ago

Just a note Wanda, in my professional medical capacity I have, without a doubt, saved hundreds, make that thousands more lives than you have only I did so without a gun. Touche.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm2 years ago

No one is confiscating firearms……especially not handguns. So this hysteria is simply misplaced. One state said they won't honor another states CCW. But it seems every discussion of Guns has to go to the extreme like th 2nd amendment is vanishing.