BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed an amicus brief in a California case that challenges the constitutionality of discretionary gun permit rules adopted by officials in San Diego County, California.

The brief, submitted by attorney Alan Gura, is also on behalf of the Calguns Foundation and two Yolo County residents, Adam Richards and Brett Stewart, who are parties to a separate, but fundamentally related lawsuit. The case at hand, Peruta v. San Diego County, is now on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

At issue in both cases is the broad discretionary authority exercised by California authorities under existing statute in the issuance of carry permits. Edward Peruta’s lawsuit against San Diego County challenges the constitutionality of “good cause” criteria used as a basis for issuing or, more typically, denying a permit to carry. SAF has filed an appeal in its own case, Richards v. Prieto, in the Ninth Circuit.

“To be sure,” Gura writes in his amicus brief, “(officials) are able to license the carrying of handguns in the interest of public safety. But they must not be in the business of judging people’s character, or forcing individuals to prove a sufficiently good reason for wanting to exercise something that is their right.”

The SAF brief also notes that the court “should recognize that (California Penal Codes) ‘good cause’ and ‘good moral character’ requirements are classic specimens of unconstitutional prior restraints.”

Such conditions, Gura writes in his brief for SAF, “plainly condition the exercise of a fundamental right upon the unbridled discretion of a licensing official. Accordingly, they must be struck down as such.”