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About a year later, the applicants and the County filed dueling motions for
summary judgment. The district court denied the applicants’ motion and granted
the County’s. Assuming without deciding that the Second Amendment
“encompasses Plaintiffs’ asserted right to carry a loaded handgun in public,” the
district court upheld the County policy under intermediate scrutiny. As the court
reasoned, California’s “important and substantial interest in public
safety”—particularly in “reduc[ing] the risks to other members of the public”
posed by concealed handguns’ “disproportionate involvement in life-threatening
crimes of violence”—trumped the applicants’ allegedly burdened Second
Amendment interest. The district court rejected all of the other claims, and the
applicants timely appealed.
As in the district court, on appeal the applicants place one argument at center
stage: they assert that by defining “good cause” in San Diego County’s permitting
scheme to exclude a general desire to carry for self-defense, the County
impermissibly burdens their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The Supreme Court’s opinions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S.
570 (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010), direct our
analysis of this claim. In Heller, the Court confronted a Second Amendment