A new ruling Wednesday by a federal appeals court will not affect the rights of Arizonans to carry concealed weapons.
And that’s not just because a majority of state lawmakers here support that right.
California law allows each county sheriff to determine if someone has “good cause” to have a concealed weapon. The lawsuit decided by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ability of individual sheriffs to make that determination.
And the majority concluded there is no absolute Second Amendment right to carry a concealed weapon outside someone’s home.
Arizona law is significantly different.
Concealed carry, first authorized in Arizona in 1994, requires only a permit issued by the state Department of Public Safety. Applicants have to undergo a background check and show proof of certain training.
More to the point, individual sheriffs in Arizona have no authority to authorize or veto a CCW permit. But even if they did, it would not matter.
In 2010, then-Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon, with or without a permit.
“I believe this legislation not only protects the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens, but restores those rights as well,’’ she wrote in signing the measure.
Permits are still available to those who want them. The main advantage of such a permit is the ability to have a concealed weapon in other states which have reciprocity agreements with Arizona.
There’s one other factor that distinguishes Arizona from California.
The Arizona Constitution provides what could be considered more comprehensive protections for those who want to have a gun. It says “the right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired,’’ with no reference to things like a well-regulated militia that exists in the Second Amendment.