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Sunday, July 21, 2024 | Back issues
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California AG will appeal injunction on conceal-carry limits

A federal judge excoriated the newly signed law, calling it "repugnant to the Second Amendment" and "openly defiant of the Supreme Court."

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) — A federal judge in Orange County has preliminarily blocked California from enforcing key provisions of Senate Bill 2, a new law that places strict limits on where concealed-carry permit holders can take handguns. Hours after the decision, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced an appeal.

“If allowed to stand, this decision would endanger communities by allowing guns in places where families and children gather,” Bonta said in a statement. “Guns in sensitive public places do not make our communities safer, but rather the opposite. More guns in more sensitive places makes the public less safe; the data supports it."

Californians who want to carry concealed firearms in public already have to show a compelling need to do so to receive a permit. Signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in September, SB2 intends to comply with New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, the landmark 2022 Supreme Court ruling, which struck down a similar permitting process in New York. The new law removed the requirement to show a compelling need to carry a gun in public, but it also set other limits on who can hold a permit, including a minimum age of 21 and required firearms training.

Additionally, SB2 designated 26 different "sensitive places" that even concealed-carry permit holders can't bring guns, including hospitals, public transportation, bars and nightclubs, playgrounds, parks, casinos, stadiums, libraries, amusement parks, zoos, places of worship and banks.

Concealed-carry permit holders and anti-gun control groups filed two lawsuits at aimed invalidating many of the public places from the list of no-gun zones, including hospitals, parks, stadiums, bars, zoos, churches and synagogues.

In a strident 43-page ruling, Judge Cormac Carney, a George W. Bush appointee, excoriated California's new law.

"SB2’s coverage is sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment, and openly defiant of the Supreme Court," Carney wrote. "SB2 turns nearly every public place in California into a “sensitive place,” effectively abolishing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding and exceptionally qualified citizens to be armed and to defend themselves in public."

Carney's ruling included a passionate defense of concealed-carry permit holders. "Simply put, CCW permit holders are not the gun wielders legislators should fear," Carney wrote. "Indeed, CCW permit holders are not responsible for any of the mass shootings or horrific gun violence that has occurred in California."

He added: "CCW permitholders are among the most responsible, reliable law-abiding citizens. They have been through a vigorous vetting and training process following their application to carry a concealed handgun. The challenged SB2 provisions unconstitutionally deprive this group of their constitutional right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense."

In his announcement that his office would be filing an appeal, Bonta wrote, "We believe the court got this wrong, and that SB2 adheres to the guidelines set by the Supreme Court in Bruen. We will seek the opinion of the appellate court to make it right.”

The ban on carrying weapons in schools, state or local public buildings, airports and legislative offices were unchallenged, and presumably remain in effect.

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Categories / Courts, Regional, Second Amendment

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