The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit temporarily stayed a district court’s preliminary injunction on Saturday that blocked a California law that prohibits concealed carry permit holders from carrying firearms in most public places. In a two-page order, the court paused the district court injunction pending the resolution of the appeal. With this stay, the California law will take effect in January 2024.
In response to the Ninth Circuit’s stay, California Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “This ruling will allow our common-sense gun laws to remain in place while we appeal the district court’s dangerous ruling. Californians overwhelmingly support efforts to ensure that places like hospitals, libraries and children’s playgrounds remain safe and free from guns.”
Earlier this month, the US District Court for the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction blocking SB 2 from taking effect in 2024. The judge based his ruling on the two-part test from the US Supreme Court decision last year in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. The test, which applies to all gun control legislation in the US, first asks if the US Constitution’s Second Amendment’s plain text covers the state gun regulation. If this first prong is met, the test then asks if the regulation is “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” Here, Carney found that the Second Amendment’s plain language covers the California law. However, Carney ruled that the public places covered by the law are inconsistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Thus, Carney concluded that the plaintiffs are “likely to succeed on the merits of their claim.”
On appeal, California Attorney General Rob Bonta argued that the district court misapplied the Bruen test, citing to a Second Circuit decision that upheld a gun law that contained sensitive place restrictions.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 2 in September, along with over 20 other bills to regulate the use of firearms in the state. SB 2 limits public places where people with concealed carry permits may carry their handguns to defend themselves. Specifically, SB 2 lists 26 “sensitive places” where concealed carry permit holders cannot carry handguns. To obtain a concealed carry permit under California law, a person must undergo a background check, a criminal history check and a training course.