US judge temporarily blocks California law banning concealed carry of handguns in many public places News
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US judge temporarily blocks California law banning concealed carry of handguns in many public places

US District Judge Cormac J. Carney issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday blocking a California law that prohibits concealed carry permit holders from carrying firearms in most public places. The case is in the US District Court for the Central District of California.

Carney found that the California law violates the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. 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.”

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. Carney found that SB 2 “effectively abolishes” the Second Amendment rights of these permit holders who are “among the most responsible, reliable law-abiding citizens.” To obtain a concealed carry permit under California law, a person must undergo a background check, a criminal history check and a training course.

Carney’s preliminary injunction covers most public places where SB 2 prohibits concealed carry. Some of these places include hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, urgent care facilities, public transportation, establishments where intoxicating liquor is sold for consumption on the premises, public gatherings, playgrounds, parks, casinos, stadiums, public libraries, zoos, museums, places of worship and financial institutions. Notably, the preliminary injunction does not cover all of SB 2’s sensitive places. Some places where SB 2 still prohibits concealed carry include property under the control of a preschool or childcare facility, buildings designated for court proceedings, state government buildings, local government buildings and correctional institutions. 

This is not the only litigation involving California gun laws. In October, a federal judge declared Califonia’s assault weapon ban unconstitutional. Additionally, in September, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit temporarily blocked a California law that bans firearm advertising that is “attractive to minors.”