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Wishing to carry handguns for self-defense but unable to document specific
threats against them, plaintiffs Edward Peruta, Michelle Laxson, James Dodd,
Leslie Buncher, and Mark Cleary (collectively “the applicants”), all residents of
San Diego County, were either denied concealed-carry licenses because they could
not establish “good cause” or decided not to apply, confident that their mere desire
to carry for self-defense would fall short of establishing “good cause” as the
County defines it. An additional plaintiff, the California Rifle and Pistol
Association Foundation, comprises many San Diego Country residents “in the
same predicament as the individual Plaintiffs.” No plaintiff is otherwise barred
under federal or state law from possessing firearms.
On October 23, 2009, after the County denied his application for a
concealed-carry license, Peruta sued the County of San Diego and its sheriff,
William Gore (collectively “the County”), under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, requesting
injunctive and declaratory relief from the enforcement of the County policy’s
interpretation of “good cause.” Peruta’s lead argument was that, by denying him
the ability to carry a loaded handgun for self-defense, the County infringed his
right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.