Anti-Gun States React Differently to Bruen Decision

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posted on September 3, 2022
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In the wake of the landmark NYSRPA v. Bruen decision, some states have accepted the ruling and begun working to get their laws in compliance, although many overly-burdensome requirements may still need to be addressed. Others, sadly, have chosen to thumb their noses at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) by choosing to conduct a full-scale assault on the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners.

Maryland Recognizes SCOTUS Authority
Shortly after Bruen was released, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered Maryland State Police (MSP) to immediately suspend requiring applicants for Wear and Carry Permits to demonstrate a “good and substantial” reason for wanting a permit.

Now, MSP cannot arbitrarily deny permits to applicants who meet all objective criteria, meaning more law-abiding citizens will be able to exercise their right to carry to defend themselves and their loved ones. The General Assembly will still need to permanently correct Maryland’s statute to remove this unconstitutional provision. Unfortunately, Maryland’s permit process is still plagued by onerous requirements and a long processing time that far exceeds those of most neighboring states, which will still prevent many Marylanders of limited economic means from acquiring a permit.

New Jersey Complies, But Continues Anti-Gun Push
Like Maryland’s governor, the New Jersey attorney general directed the state’s carry-permit-issuing authorities to stop enforcing the “justifiable need” standard for permits after Bruen. The legislature, however, advanced numerous assaults on our right to keep and bear arms, sending several bills to the governor for his expected signature. The bills include ammunition registration, gun registration for new residents and a ban on .50 BMG ammunition, to name just a few. (Go to nraila.org/articles/20220701/new-jersey-despite-historic-supreme-court-ruling-gun-bills-advance-in-trenton for details.) 

California Throws Epic Anti-Gun Temper Tantrum
To borrow from the lexicon of the left, anti-gun extremists in California appeared to be so “triggered” by Bruen that they didn’t just push more anti-freedom legislation, but also endangered virtually every law-abiding gun owner in the Golden State and expanded their assault on the Constitution to include the right to free speech.

Several bills were being rushed through the legislative process, with some already presented to Gov. Gavin Newsome. As we went to press, the virulently anti-Second Amendment governor had signed into law AB1594, which allows for reckless lawsuits against the firearms industry—a tactic anti-gun extremists have long supported as a means to drive gun makers into bankruptcy through an endless torrent of meritless lawsuits. This is the latest salvo in the long-running effort to circumvent the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which ensures Americans have reasonable access to firearms.

Newsome also signed AB2571, which purports to ban all firearms-related advertising that a minor (those under the age of 18) might find attractive. The bill is written in a manner so broad as to attempt to eliminate all firearm-related advertising in the Golden State and, in turn, pro-Second Amendment publications that rely on firearm advertising for revenue. The bill supporters’ overarching goal is to stifle their opponents’ political speech, which is an attack on the First Amendment as a means to damage the Second. (Go to nraila.org/articles/20220711/california-targets-first-and-second-amendments-with-advertising-ban for details.)

Other bills include: new restrictions on firearms made by individuals; firearm parts; certain tools that can be used in the making of firearms; the sale or display of certain firearm parts on some public properties; excise taxes on firearms, certain parts and ammunition; and expansion of California’s gun-violence restraining-order law. (Go to nraila.org/articles/20220701/california-legislature-passes-and-newsom-signs-anti-gun-bills for details.)

And, like New York, California seeks to defy the Bruen ruling by placing significant reforms on its existing concealed-carry laws. Some of the provisions include: significantly expanding “gun-free” zones; requiring signage for private businesses where you can carry; doubling training requirements; maintaining the ability to do in-person interviews and psychiatric evaluations; and allowing “time, place and manner” restrictions on permits.

Finally, the Monday following the release of the Bruen decision, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the launch of the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Firearms Dashboard Portal. The data tool was designed to give granular firearm transaction and Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit-holder data to anyone visiting the DOJ’s website. However, astute users quickly realized that the dashboard could be used to access the personally identifying information of California CCW holders, including date of birth, full name and address. Although the portal was taken down the next day, according to several social-media sources, individuals were able to download all the leaked personal information from the DOJ website–meaning this information is likely now in the public in perpetuity and could be used to put lawful gun owners at risk.

NRA has been involved in a legal challenge to California’s invasion of gun-owner privacy since January. We will, of course, monitor this particular breach of gun-owner privacy, and keep those potentially affected by it appraised of developments, as well as on developments in our court case.

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