CRPA Foundation & NRA File Amicus Briefs in Ninth Circuit Appeal of Richards v. Prieto

On August 31, 2011 the California Rifle and Pistol Foundation (“CRPA Foundation”) and the National Rifle Association filed amicus briefs in support of appellants in Richards v. Prieto, who have challenged California’s regulatory scheme governing the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms (“CCW permits”) and Yolo County policies for its (non)-issuance of permits to residents seeking to exercise their right to carry a loaded firearm in public.

At issue in Richards is a Yolo County policy conditioning the issuance of CCW permits on a wholly discretionary assessment of each applicant’s “moral character” and stated “good cause.” In practice, Yolo’s policy prohibits the vast majority of county residents from obtaining a permit.

In its brief, available here, CRPA Foundation argues in support of the appellants that Yolo County’s CCW permitting policies are unconstitutional to the extent they deny law-abiding residents the only lawful means of exercising their right to bear operable handguns for self-defense anywhere in the State, despite the United States Supreme Court’s declaration that armed self-defense is a “central component” of our Second Amendment rights.

 CRPA Foundation’s brief further provides an historical analysis of the right to keep and bear arms, which establishes that Yolo County’s broad prohibition on the carriage of loaded firearms is categorically unconstitutional and, at a minimum, fails to satisfy the heightened scrutiny required of regulations that so severely burden the right as to eliminate it altogether.

CRPAF is itself currently before the Ninth Circuit, litigating its own challenge to prohibitory local CCW permitting policies. Briefing in that case, Peruta v. San Diego, will be completed on September 6, 2011.

In its brief, available here, NRA provides the Ninth Circuit panel with significant background on the practices and experiences of other states in issuing carry permits throughout the nation. NRA’s amicus brief beautifully illustrates the fact that issuing such permits to law-abiding citizens will not increase crime rates and may, in fact, cause them to fall.