Supreme Court leaves in place California's curbs on concealed guns
.357 magnum handgun sitting on table (Shutterstock)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sidestepped one of the most hotly contested gun rights disputes in years, declining to rule in a California case on whether a person's constitutional right to keep firearms for self-defense extends outside the home.

Gun owners had taken aim at a California law that bars them from being granted a permit to carry a concealed gun in public places unless they show "good cause" for having it, with county sheriffs making the determination.

The justices let stand a lower court's ruling upholding a San Diego County sheriff's policy of denying such permits unless the gun owner documents a need for self-defense. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the policy last year, finding that the U.S. Constitution offers no right to carry a concealed weapon.

Two conservative justices, including President Donald Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, said the court should have heard the case.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)