“I’m not a hunter. I’m not a collector or a target shooter,” Peruta said. “I’m not a gun crazy. But I do want to protect myself.”
After a federal judge refused to toss out the lawsuit in 2010, the NRA took over the case for Peruta. “The NRA is the 800-pound gorilla in this fight,” he said.
In February, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, citing the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling, struck down California’s “good cause” requirement, ruling that self-defense was a good enough reason to issue a concealed-weapons permit.
The California attorney general and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are seeking to overturn that decision after San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said he would abide by the court decision.
“The issue is important: As a result of the decision, residents and visitors will be subjected to the increased risk posed by the carrying of loaded, hidden handguns on the streets of San Diego County by persons with no good cause to do so,” a lawyer for the Brady organization wrote in a court filing seeking permission to formally oppose Peruta and the NRA in an appeal.
The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut —where a gunman used an assault rifle to kill 20 children and six others— led some cities and states to enact laws banning high-capacity magazines, and the NRA countered with lawsuits.
So far, federal judges across the country have unanimously rejected the NRA’s legal challenges to these bans. Federal judges in recent weeks have upheld bans enacted by San Francisco and Sunnyvale, a Silicon Valley suburb about 40 miles to the south.
“California has always been sort of one of the front-line states,” said Chuck Michel, a Long Beach lawyer who represents the NRA in many of its California-based cases. Michel said the NRA and other Second Amendment advocates have filed “a whole slew of lawsuits” using the 2008 high court ruling to challenge gun-control laws enacted after Sandy Hook.