By Chuck Michel
Governor Newsom held a press conference Wednesday at which he signed almost two dozen new gun control laws, all designed to make it harder and more expensive to buy or have a gun to defend yourself or your family in California. Two of those bills have gotten the most attention – Senate Bill 2 and Assembly Bill 28. Legal challenges to those two bills, and others, are already in motion.
AB 28 imposes an 11% “sin tax,” as Newsom called it, on guns and ammo. However, choosing to own a gun is not a sin, and gun owners are not sinners. California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) is working with our partners to file a lawsuit challenging this new tax on exercising your Second Amendment rights.
SB 2 imposes new requirements that make it harder to get a permit to carry a firearm in public, and creates dozens of new “sensitive places” where a permit is invalid. If SB 2 takes effect as scheduled on January 1, it will be practically impossible for a permit holder to cross town without passing through a gun-free zone and committing a crime in the process if the law is not struck down before then.
CRPA and its strategic partners didn’t wait for Newsom to sign SB 2 before filing a lawsuit to strike it down.
The minute Nesom signed the bill California Rifle & Pistol Associations lawyers served the state with the lawsuit.
Yesterday CRPA filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from taking effect. Now the state has until November 3rd to file its opposition to the injunction request. CRPA will then have until November 20th to reply to the opposition. A hearing is currently scheduled before US District Court Judge Cormac Carney on December 4th.
Judge Carney presided over CRPA’s successful challenge to the “safe” handgun roster. In that case, Judge Carney granted the CRPA’s motion to preliminarily enjoin the most troublesome requirements of the Unsafe Handgun Act, which crippled the decades-old law preventing Californians from accessing the latest and safest firearm technology.
The laws that Newsom signed will not make us any safer. They are a vindictive and retaliatory response to the Supreme Court’s historic Bruen decision from last year. The Supreme Court made it clear that governments cannot over-designate places as “sensitive” where lawful carry would be prohibited. But that is exactly what Newsom and the politicians in his pocket seek to do. They know that this bill will only affect lawful gun owners — because they are the only ones who go through the process to obtain a concealed carry license. They know that criminals will not be stopped.
Data from several states proves that Americans with concealed carry permits commit crimes at extraordinarily low rates, as the lawsuit explains. Recently, a Hawaii district court relied in part on this same data, which was presented to it by some of the same associations now challenging SB 2, to conclude that Hawaii’s similar law could be enjoined. A ruling against most of Maryland’s “sensitive places” law came out yesterday.
Designating so many places as gun-free zones is a retaliatory tactic coordinated by well-financed national gun control advocacy group Everytown Law which is being used in states hostile to gun ownership to make the right to defend yourself in public useless. California follows in the footsteps of Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Hawaii. Federal courts in those other jurisdictions have already enjoined laws like SB 2.
These rulings include:
- Antonyuk v. Hochul, No. 1:22-CV-0986 (GTS/CFH), 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201944 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 7, 2022)
- Koons v. Platkin, No. CV 22-7463 (RMB/AMD), 2023 WL 3478604 (D.N.J. May 16, 2023)
- Wolford v. Lopez, No. CV 23-00265 LEK-WRP, 2023 WL 5043805, at *1 (D. Haw. Aug. 8, 2023)
It is an open secret in the hallways of the capital building in Sacramento that politicians hope to pass so many gun control laws that Second Amendment advocacy groups can’t keep up.
Newsom has unlimited tax dollars to battle for his unconstitutional laws in court. But millions of gun owners support these legal challenges to protect their rights. When elected officials thumb their noses at our Constitution, CRPA and our coalition partners are proud to hold that line. Newsom thinks that he is making it more difficult to be a gun owner in California, but all he has done is facilitate an unprecedented joint effort to overturn his unconstitutional laws. There is now a strong coalition of gun owners’ rights groups fighting together against the laws that Newsom is using to push his political agenda.
Pro-Second Amendment groups joining in the lawsuit against Newsom and SB 2 are well known in the state, and many have been fighting against ill-conceived gun bans for decades. The coalition includes CRPA, Gun Owners of California, Second Amendment Foundation, and individual plaintiffs include influencers Reno May and Anthony Miranda, the “Armed Scholar”. These plaintiffs bring exposure, resources, members, donors, and expertise to help us win this case.
Now California Rifle & Pistol Association needs your help. To help support this case and other cases like it, and to protect your Second Amendment rights, please join CRPA at CRPA.org and please donate here.
ABOUT California Rifle & Pistol Association
The California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), founded in 1875, is a nonprofit membership and donor-supported organization with tens of thousands of members throughout California. We need you!