California lawmakers have voted to implement a series of strict gun-control laws only to be stymied by court decisions determining that they unconstitutionally infringed on the Second Amendment rights of Americans living in the state.
Most recently, a measure aimed at identifying various public locations where even permit-holders would not be able to carry a firearm was challenged in federal court.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney opted to hand down a temporary restraining order just days before the law was scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of next year.
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) December 21, 2023
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 2 into law earlier this year, establishing a list of more than two dozen types of locations where concealed carry would be illegal regardless of permits.
Carney’s ruling denounced the legislation at its root, calling it “repugnant to the Second Amendment and openly defiant of the Supreme Court.”
He went on to offer a brief history lesson culminating in an assessment of the importance of several U.S. Supreme Court decisions bolstering the constitutional right to bear arms.
“The right to self-defense and to defend one’s family is fundamental and inherent to our very humanity irrespective of any formal codification,” the judge wrote. “For many years, the right to bear arms, and so necessarily the right to self-defense, was relegated to second-class status. But the United States Supreme Court made clear in its landmark decisions District of Columbia v. Heller, McDonald v. City of Chicago, and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Incorporated v. Bruen that relegation could no longer be permitted — individuals must be able to effectuate their right to self-defense by, if they choose, responsibly bearing arms.”
California, on the other hand, attempted to take the Second Amendment in the opposite direction, Carney determined.
“SB2 turns nearly every public place in California into a ‘sensitive place,’ effectively abolishing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding and exceptionally qualified citizens to be armed and to defend themselves in public.”
In October, a much older state law was overturned in light of the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision. U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez determined that a long-standing ban on so-called “assault weapons” unfairly targeted law-abiding gun owners.
“California’s answer to the criminal misuse of a few is to disarm its many good residents,” he wrote. “That knee-jerk reaction is constitutionally untenable, just as it was 250 years ago.”