“Just because a federal court says that you do not have a constitutional right doesn’t mean that the state that you live in cannot grant you that right through legislation,” Hagel said.
Hagel said this issue has come up time and again.
“There’s such a strong interest in it across the country, that ultimately I think someone is going to push this all the way to the Supreme Court,” Hagel said.
Thursday’s ruling in California has now placed thousands of applications for concealed carry permits on hold in the state.
The National Rifle Association called the ruling “out of touch.”
“This decision will leave good people defenseless, as it completely ignores the fact that law-abiding Californians who reside in counties with hostile sheriffs will now have no means to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection,” said NRA legislative chief Chris W. Cox.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.