District Court Calls California Gun-Control Attempt “Repugnant”

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posted on December 29, 2023
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A federal judge recently deemed California’s new carry law, set to take effect on January 1, “repugnant to the Second Amendment.”

On Dec. 20, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney granted a preliminary injunction blocking portions of the state’s new carry law, which would have banned Californians—even those with a hard-to-obtain concealed-carry permit—from carrying concealed firearms in more than two dozen places, like churches, banks, hospitals, and on public transportation. In making the ruling in May v. Bonta, Judge Carney described the law as “sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment, and openly defiant of the Supreme Court.”

“Although the government may have some valid safety concerns, legislation regulating [concealed carry] permit holders—the most responsible of law-abiding citizens seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights—seems an odd and misguided place to focus to address those safety concerns,” Carney, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in the opinion. 

Adding that concealed-carry permit holders are among California’s most-law-abiding citizens, Judge Carney concluded, “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 analysis, Judge Carney also considered the state’s arguments that the new law is constitutional under the second Bruen standard—whether it is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation—and concluded that for most banned locations the arguments came up short.

“Given the nation’s history and tradition of protecting the core right to carry a firearm to those wishing to defend themselves and their families in case of confrontation, it is unsurprising that the government does not offer a single historical prohibition on carrying firearms at hospitals or medical offices, much less one limiting carry by a category of people that is particularly responsible and trained and whom the government has background checked,” he wrote. “And the government has presented no evidence that this balance supports preventing people who have been through a thorough background check and training process to obtain a special permit to carry a concealed weapon from exercising their constitutional right to self-defense on public transportation.”

Following the ruling, Randy Kozuch, director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), said the decision yet again affirmed the importance of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.

“The United States Supreme Court was unequivocal in the NRA-backed Bruen case, yet California and numerous other states disregarded this,” said Kozuch. “Today’s Second Amendment victory once more reaffirms that Americans have a constitutional right to carry a firearm for self-defense, and the government cannot infringe upon this right.”

Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, said in a statement after the ruling that, under the new law, carry permit holders “wouldn’t be able to drive across town without passing through a prohibited area and breaking the law.” 

“California progressive politicians refuse to accept the Supreme Court’s mandate from the Bruen case and are trying every creative ploy they can imagine to get around it,” said Michel. “The Court saw through the State’s gambit.”

Of course, state officials immediately vowed to appeal the ruling—one of the many court losses gun-ban advocates have been handed since the Bruen decision.

“Defying common sense, this ruling outrageously calls California’s data-backed gun safety efforts ‘repugnant,’” said Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to Fox News Digital. “What is repugnant is this ruling, which green lights the proliferation of guns in our hospitals, libraries, and children’s playgrounds—spaces, which should be safe for all. California will keep fighting to defend our laws and enshrine the Right to Safety in the Constitution. The lives of our kids depend on it.”

While the judge’s injunction blocks the portion of the law deeming many areas to be “sensitive places” and off limits to concealed carry, the remainder of the law, which includes more stringent training and applications requirements, will still take effect on January 1.

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