California Concealed Carry Ban Is Dead Again

Gavin Newsom in Tears
Courtesy Firearms Policy Coalition

Just before New Year’s Eve, the State of California won a small court victory for SB2, a Bruen response bill that had been struck down in a lower court. By getting the Ninth Circuit to grant them a stay, the law was allowed to go into effect, making concealed carry permits almost worthless in the state.

Last night, however, that stay was lifted during the appeal, putting California’s carry laws back where they were in 2023.

Some Background

This whole fight goes back generations because the Golden State has been violating people’s rights since before Reagan was governor. But after decades of shrinking gun rights in California, the U.S. Supreme Court put a stop to it last year with the NYSRPA v Bruen decision. That forced the state to start issuing concealed carry permits on a “shall issue” basis instead of only to the wealthy and well-connected — or not at all — in many some counties.

Like other prominently anti-gun states, California then decided to make the permits as worthless as possible. SB2 basically threw every restriction at where people with a permit could carry a firearm. That obviously doesn’t square with the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment, and thus SB2’s restrictions were struck down last year by a lower court.

The state appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and convinced a three-judge panel to issue a stay on the injunction that prevented enforcement of the new law. In other words, these draconian restrictions were allowed to go into effect on January 1st.

People like Governor Gavin Newsom, of course, gloated . . .

Today, however, he’s probably not so thrilled. He issued this statement last night: “This dangerous decision puts the lives of Californians on the line.” What he didn’t saying, however, is that this latest court ruling puts California’s gun laws right back where they were on December 31st, in a state that takes great pride in having the most limits on the right to keep and bear arms.

Where The Case Goes Next

With the stay lifted and the injunction blocking enforcement of SB2 back in effect, the appeal process will continue. The Ninth Circuit may choose to play stupid games (what are the odds?) and ignore the Bruen ruling, ginning up some ludicrous theory to justify SB2’s restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. Or they might do the right thing and apply Bruen, striking down SB2’s onerous limits on where Californians can carry a gun.

Either way, this case could very well be fought all the way to the Supreme Court. California isn’t going to give up on its tradition of violating its citizens’ civil rights. They’ll keep the process going, letting it drag on in the hopes that some older judges die or retire and Joe Biden gives them more favorable playing field. That’s just one of the things at stake in this presidential election year.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *