California Attorney. Gen. Rob Bonta pledged Thursday to work with the governor and lawmakers to pass new gun control legislation “to keep Californians safe” in response to a Supreme Court ruling that weakens requirements to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon in the state.
“While this decision is undoubtedly a setback for American security, it also affirmed the rights that states maintain to protect our people,” Bonta said. “It leaves us with options to protect our families, and we intend to use those options.”
Bonta said a state requirement for gun owners to provide “good cause” for obtaining a license to carry a concealed weapon is likely unconstitutional under the Supreme Court ruling. But he reminded Californians that carrying a loaded firearm in most public spaces is still generally prohibited without a permit issued by local law enforcement. Licensing requirements, such as a background check, firearms safety course and proof of residency, employment or business in a local area, remain in effect.
For weeks, state leaders have been considering ways to respond in anticipation of the High Court’s ruling challenging California’s concealed weapons license eligibility limitations.
The Supreme Court ruled in its 6-3 decision Thursday that a New York law violates the 2nd and 14th Amendments by requiring people to demonstrate a “special need for self-protection.” The New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. vs. Bruen ruled that the requirement is unconstitutional because “it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to own and bear arms.”
California lawmakers plan to amend and pass Senator Anthony Portantino’s (D-La Cañada Flintridge) Senate Bill 918 in response to the ruling. The legislation will specify where weapons cannot be transported and clarify licensing requirements, Bonta said.
“So in California, we’re going to clarify that a dangerousness rating is an essential part of enforcing concealed carry,” Bonta said. “The assessment is going to be robust, including looking at arrests, convictions, restraining orders and other publicly available information that might suggest a person poses a danger to themselves or others.”
Governor Gavin Newsom also weighed in on Thursday, pushing back against the Supreme Court’s “dramatic decision”.
“While this reckless move erases a common-sense gun safety law that had existed for decades, California anticipated this moment,” Newsom said. “Our state will continue to lead the fight to keep our people safe.”
Since taking office, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has had a different take on concealed weapons. Villanueva has significantly increased the number of permits issued in the county, with active concealed carry permits rising from 155 holders in June 2020 to more than 2,800 last month, according to statistics released by the Sheriff’s Department. .
“Sheriff Alex Villanueva has increased the number of concealed weapons permits approved as violent crime has increased in Los Angeles County. The Sheriff recognizes that threats against residents have increased and has responded accordingly,” said the sheriff’s office in a statement Thursday.Agency attorneys are currently reviewing the Supreme Court’s decision.
Newsom joined leaders in the California Legislative Assembly last month with a promise to fast track at least a dozen gun control bills a day after the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Australia. Texas.
The legislation would further restrict California’s already tough gun rules, including a law modeled after a Texas law that allows private citizens to sue anyone who aids and abets an abortion.
Senate Bill 1327, designed to challenge the Supreme Court’s refusal to block the Texas law, would allow California residents to sue manufacturers or distributors of firearms and anyone who imports or sells guns assault rifles, .50 BMG rifles or ghost pistols.
Another Newsom-backed measure would limit gun advertising to minors, and a third would crack down on phantom guns in California.
Bonta also sponsors Assembly Bill 1594, an equally high-profile measure that would establish a “firearms industry standard of conduct.” The measure would allow the California Department of Justice, local governments and survivors of gun violence to sue members of the gun industry if they were allegedly “irresponsible, reckless and negligent” in selling and marketing their products and whether they violate state firearms laws. .
Newsom said Thursday he would sign a series of gun safety bills that he expects the Legislature to send to his office next week. Some of the bills include emergency clauses, meaning they must receive a two-thirds vote of approval in each house of the Legislative Assembly and would immediately become law with Newsom’s signature.
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