California Democrats in the state assembly have once again passed their so-called “Bruen Response” bill, SB2. Shortly after the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling last June regarding the State of New York’s issuance of concealed carry permits and carry restrictions in the case called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, states like California promised to pass a bill in response to the ruling that would bring California into compliance, or so they claim.
In Bruen, the majority opinion held that concealed carry laws in New York, and also here in California, were unconstitutional on their face. California and New York were both what was known as “may-issue,” meaning that no one was guaranteed to receive a concealed carry permit due to the state’s “good moral character” and “good necessity” requirements.
The 6-3 decision authored by Justice Clarence Thomas holds that New York’s “proper cause” requirement to obtain a concealed-carry license violates the Constitution by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. The dissenters were, as might be expected, Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor.
In the introduction, Justice Thomas notes: “that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”
In fact, depending on the county you lived in, the chances of you obtaining a permit were nonexistent. Take counties like Los Angeles, for example, where before Bruen the average amount of CCW permits issued was less than 100 a year. Under former LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, who preceded former Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the department issued the least number of permits. In 2015, 20 permits were issued, 2016 had 32 issued and 2017 had 76. However, when Villanueva took over in 2018, permits issued skyrocketed when the Bruen decision came down. California lawmakers admittedly were panicked and dumbstruck by Bruen, but not because they knew they were wrong. No, it was because SCOTUS obviously got it wrong and they had to do something about it.
So almost immediately, Governor Gavin Newsom and Democrat leaders in the state senate and assembly all went to work on a bill that would make California “more safe” according to them. SB2 was introduced shortly after Bruen came down, however, Democrats were not able to agree on the legislation, causing it to die off. The main reason why it died at the time was the authors of the bill put an emergency clause into the bill which would make it effective immediately upon signage of the Governor. But now, SB2 is back and it’s as bad as it can get.
Portantino’s measure includes more than two dozen “sensitive places” where concealed firearms would not be allowed, such as daycare centers and schools, bars, college campuses, government buildings, medical facilities, parks and playgrounds and on public transit. The bill would also make commercial businesses automatically gun-free zones unless the owner explicitly indicates otherwise.
The bill also maintains rigorous application requirements for licensing authorities, mainly county sheriffs, to determine whether someone is a “disqualified person” from obtaining a permit, a term that opponents of SB 2 see as another subjective term that wouldn’t pass constitutional muster.
The protocol includes conducting in-person interviews, obtaining character references and reviewing social media and other publicly available statements to identify safety risks. The bill requires an applicant to be 21, the same age required to buy a handgun, and bolsters training and safe storage rules.
When you read the text of the bill, the author, State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank) makes it painfully clear that his bill would make it almost impossible for one to legally carry a firearm, let alone obtain a permit. When the bill is signed, as it is expected to be, the carry of a concealed firearm by a permit holder will be limited to when they’re driving in their own car, or walking down the street, unless he or she comes up to a school zone, public library, bus stops, train stations, grocery stores, you know, everywhere someone would go in their everyday life. They won’t be able to go into a private business unless that business posts a sign saying you can. When enacted, the ability to carry normally and travel around California would be curtailed to the point where it just wouldn’t be possible, and that is by design.
Then they go on further to make it harder to obtain a carry permit by adding a character reference requirement, access to your social media accounts, and scrounging the internet for anything you’ve said online that they can use against you. It is the good moral character clause on steroids. California county sheriffs in conservative counties most likely will still issue them, but now the timeframe of submitting the application to receive the permit just doubled and got more expensive. For those of us who reside in the blue counties? You won’t get one at all; again, it is by design.
The outright hostility to guns, gun ownership, and concealed carry in California can be best described as a rabid dog going after its family. Newsom and his party hate the 2nd Amendment, the Constitution, and anything in it that puts their power or existence in jeopardy. Any argument to the contrary is an argument based on a fantasy that is pulled out of the ether of insanity. This bill isn’t the first of this legislative year, Oh no, Democrats recently passed AB28 authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D) that would enact an 11 percent tax on dealers and manufacturers of guns and ammunition.
This also calls into question that the gun laws already in existence tend to go uncharged. When LA County residents see the policy of District Attorney George Gascon of not allowing firearm enhancements for violent crime, they tend to question the motives of these lawmakers when some gun laws that make sense are ignored.
Why can’t @GavinNewsom and the @CA_Dem go after prosecutors who refuse to prosecute gun law violations? Never mind, that would involve holding real criminals accountable, right @Portantino ?#VictimsMatter#Elections2024https://t.co/Y3pdNFjuLR
— Alex Villanueva (@AlexVilanueva33) September 12, 2023
All this bill does is make it that much more expensive to purchase a firearm and the ammunition required to use it. With a record low percentage of Californians able to buy a home, what makes you think this will make it affordable for the man or woman who lives in a bad neighborhood, that are working 3 jobs just to make ends meet to buy a gun? A Glock 17 handgun in Los Angeles County has an average cost of $579.99 before the 10.25 percent sales tax which makes it $639.43. Then you tack on the background check (DROS) fee of $35, which makes it $674.43. Adding another 11% would make it $748.61. That is a $74.18 increase which may not sound like a lot to a gun-grabbing Democrat, but that’s a huge increase to someone who spends that much, if not more, just filling up their tank with gas to get back and forth from work.
Governor Newsom and his Democratic hoplophobes are ensuring that Californians are less safe and/or broke. Because if you are the lucky one who can actually obtain a permit after SB2 gets enacted, you’re going to be spending a lot more money to buy the gun, train with the gun, and carry it. The only possible reprieve we have as California gun owners is to see several lawsuits, including the state’s so-called “assault weapons” ban, the high capacity magazine ban, the approved handgun roster, and more, getting overturned by the 9th Circuit Court. If the Court decides to keep these laws in place, you can guarantee that they will be appealed to SCOTUS and possibly even get heard.
One can hope and dream, can’t they?