California Dems Pass Concealed-Carry Restrictions That Could Lead to Supreme Court Challenge
California lawmakers have passed new concealed carry restrictions that seem to be in conflict with a ruling by the Supreme Court that will take effect in 2022 that removed all limitations on who may carry a gun.
Senate Bill 2, which was approved by the California state Senate on Tuesday with a vote of 28-8, limits who is eligible to obtain a concealed carry permit. It includes an updated licensing procedure, new age restrictions and strict storage rules. On the Senate floor, all Republicans and one Democrat voted it down.
Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 14, 2014 to sign the legislation.
The concealed carry bill requires that applicants be at least 21 and have completed at least 16 hours in firearms training. If applicants are found to be dangerous, they can be disqualified. According to the Los Angeles Times, licensing authorities, mostly county sheriffs’ offices, will be responsible for conducting interviews in person with applicants, getting character references and reviewing their social media profiles to identify safety concerns.
Bill also prohibits the carrying of guns in sensitive public places, such as schools and courts, government buildings, hospitals, airports and bars. Businesses would automatically be classified as gun-free areas unless they explicitly opt out.
California has already some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Democratic state senator Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from California, introduced the gun control measure in December. A previous concealed-carry law failed to pass the state legislature in August.
Portantino, speaking to the Sacramento Bee on Tuesday about SB 2, said: “I believe the impact will be significant.” “Having a firearm is a serious responsibility, and we are defining who is responsible for that.”
Newsom’s new bill is expected to create a legal challenge to Second Amendment rights, which could reach the Supreme Court. This follows the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen decision last summer.
In June 2022 the Court voted 6 to 3 to overturn New York’s ‘proper cause’ law, which required people to prove a special reason to be able to carry a handgun concealed in public. This precedent was used to undermine laws in California and elsewhere that required applicants for concealed carry licenses to give reasons.
California Assembly tried to pass a gun control bill in the wake of Court’s ruling, but it failed last year because its urgency clause required two-thirds rather than simple majority support. SB 2 is a renewed effort by the state to get around the ruling.
Portantino, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Times, said that “the Supreme Court forced California” to reevaluate its concealed-carry permit policy. This is a statewide rule that will determine who can and cannot be trusted to have a concealed-carry license. It makes sense.
Both Newsom and Attorney-General Rob Bonta support the recently passed legislation.
Newsom, in a Monday statement following the Assembly’s approval of SB 2, said: “There is a reason you are far less likely to be killed by bullets in California.” “We are using all the tools we have to make our streets, neighborhoods and schools safer against gun violence.”