The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dissolved a previous stay on Saturday that allowed a California law to go into effect prohibiting concealed carry permit holders from carrying firearms in most public places, blocking the law. With this order, the California law will no longer take effect in January 2024.
In a two-page order, the court dissolved its previous stay of the case pending the appeal. Additionally, the order consolidated two separate cases challenging the law in dispute. The California Rifle & Pistol Association called the ruling a “huge win” on X (f0rmerly Twitter). Before this order, when the California law was set to take effect, California Attorney General Rob Bonta stated, “We’ve ensured California’s common-sense concealed carry weapons law—prohibiting concealed firearms in sensitive places like playgrounds & hospitals— takes effect tomorrow & while we appeal the lower court’s dangerous decision.”
Last 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 upholding a gun law that contained sensitive place restrictions. The Ninth Circuit previously granted a stay of the district court’s preliminary injunction, which would have allowed the law to take effect this month.
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.