Photo: POLICE File

Photo: POLICE File

California must allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms in public, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, striking down the core of the state's permit system for handguns, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said San Diego County violates the Constitution's Second Amendment by requiring residents to show "good cause" - and not merely the desire to protect themselves - to obtain a concealed-weapons permit.

State law requires applicants to demonstrate good cause, as well as good moral character, to carry concealed handguns, while leaving the permit process up to each city and county. The ruling, if it stands, would require local governments to issue permits to anyone who claims a need for self-protection.

"The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense," said Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain in the majority opinion.

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