In California, an appellate court ruling upheld the status quo - applicants who want a license to carry a concealed weapon must show good cause.
An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said law enforcement officials can require applicants for a concealed weapons permit to show they are in immediate danger or have another good reason for a permit beyond self-defense.
Hailed as a victory by gun control advocates, the ruling said people do not have a right to carry concealed weapons in public under the Second Amendment.
In San Diego County, the sheriff required applicants to show supporting documents such as restraining orders against possible attackers to show good cause for a permit. The requirement prompted a lawsuit by residents who were denied a permit.
"Good cause requires more than just saying I want a concealed weapon for self-defense,” said Robert Faigin, legal advisor for San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.
Applicants must establish they have been threatened through a restraining order, for example.
“There has to be some type of circumstances that are different from the mainstream that establish the necessity to carry a concealed weapon,” Faigin said.
Licenses can also be given to some businesses where people carry a large amount of money.
Paul Neuharth, the attorney for the San Diego man who filed the case, said there is no uniformed definition of good cause statewide.
He also said if the courts can not infringe upon guaranteed rights like free speech and freedom of religion, why is the Second Amendment different.
"It should be given the strength of all the other amendments," Neuharth said.
Gun rights advocates were disappointed by the ruling.
Ari Belkin from the Gun Range San Diego said this it creates an open invitation to criminals who aren't going to abide by the law anyway.
“There's only one way to stop a bad guy with a gun and that's a good guy with a gun,” Belkin said.
California generally prohibits people from carrying handguns in public without such a permit. State law requires applicants to show good moral character, have good cause and take a training course.
Plaintiffs are hoping to take the case to the United States Supreme Court.