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California Readies New Approaches for Concealed Gun Carry

AG Rob Bonta takes aim after U.S. Supreme Court ruling

By Martin Marks, July 26, 2022 3:20 pm

Just last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a New York State law that required citizens to present a “special need” in order to carry a concealed firearm as unconstitutional. Reverberations were nation-wide as several states, including California, had similar concealed carry permitting laws already on the books. 

In light of the ruling from SCOTUS, one would think that states would be sent scrambling to amend their laws or find new ones in order to thwart citizens’ rights to concealed carry. Not California. California Attorney General Rob Bonta and other Democrat lawmakers saw the handwriting on the wall with a now more conservative Supreme Court and had already begun drafting state legislation in addition to advisories to municipal and county government officials to find ways around the anticipated decision from Washington D.C.

The June 23 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 6-3 vote authored by Justice Clarence Thomas that the New York law and others like them that required concealed carry applicants to cite a specific circumstance or circumstances for their concealed carry application was overly burdensome, and that a general self defense standard was more consistent with the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Thomas wrote:

“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees. We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. …And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.” 

Other language in the decision appears to call into constitutional question other state laws, including those of California, that define semi-automatic rifles as “assault weapons.” 

Yet that is a legal battle for another day. For now, California lawmakers and officials are presently setting the tone for future constitutional skirmishes by using the language of the June SCOTUS decision to craft new laws for addressing concealed carry applications.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta did not waste any time and was first out of the box at a press conference just hours after the June 23 Supreme Court decision was issued.

“We’ve been preparing for this moment … for months,” 

His office then issued a formal statement in which Bonta proclaimed,

“California similarly requires applicants for licenses to carry firearms in public to show “good cause,” and is likely unconstitutional under Bruen. But other requirements remain intact. Individuals may obtain a permit through a sheriff or chief of police after: a successful background check, the completion of a firearms safety course, and proof of residency, employment, or business in the county or city within the county. These laws were created and passed with the unique needs of Californians in mind.”

The AG’s message to local California authorities responsible for issuing concealed carry permits used the Supreme Court’s language contained in their decision and advised that permit applicants must still be “law-abiding, responsible citizens,” which in his opinion would allow officials to judge the “moral character” of applicants before granting concealed carry permits.  

And Bonta takes the “law-abiding responsible citizen” clause and really runs with it. He goes on to quote the Riverside County Sheriff’s office standards for granting concealed carry applications as being consistent with the Supreme Court decision. A law enforcement issuing office could consider the applicant’s

 “trustworthiness, diligence, reliability, respect for the law, integrity, candor … respect for the rights of others, absence of hatred and racism.”

 He said an agency could also

 “require a search of publicly available information, including social media accounts.”

One need not be a legal scholar to opine that Bonta’s interpretation of the Court’s decision is overly broad and deliberately restrictive.  Those in the know appear to concur that Bonta is overreaching here.  Sam Parades, Executive Director of Gun Owners of California said:

“These are very subjective criteria, and I’m confident that they, too, will be declared unconstitutional.” 

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh in an online article wrote:

“This strikes me as clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment, even apart from the Second amendment. The government can’t restrict ordinary citizens’ actions—much less their constitutionally protected actions—based on the viewpoints that they express.”

In addition to Attorney General Bonta’s approach and advisories to permit-issuing government agencies, California state lawmakers are also taking the initiative. Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada-Flintridge) is authoring SB918 which seeks to circumvent the no longer valid “special need” aspect of acquiring a concealed weapon permit, and instead focuses on limiting where concealed weapons can be carried. The bill would restrict guns at all school and college grounds, courthouses and other government buildings, medical facilities, public transportation, public parks and playgrounds, any place where alcohol is sold and consumed, and events requiring public permits, such as demonstrations.

Gun Owners of California’s Parades also addressed SB918.

“It is such a giant patchwork quilt of areas that do not allow carrying of concealed weapons that a lawful citizen cannot travel from one part of a community to the other without breaking the law.”

So, the constitutional battle lines are being set. It would seem that in the wake of the Supreme Court June 23 decision, California lawmakers are throwing everything at the wall to see just what will stick, knowing full well many of their efforts will not pass muster before the courts. And at best, as new laws and edicts are challenged and wend their way through the courts, California officials are simply delaying the inevitable—more citizens legally carrying concealed weapons in the Golden State.

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11 thoughts on “California Readies New Approaches for Concealed Gun Carry

  1. “trustworthiness, diligence, reliability, respect for the law, integrity, candor … respect for the rights of others, absence of hatred and racism.”

    Wow, cannot imagine how far Democrats will push this, so I figure at some point they will have any conservative leaning as racists…therefore place denied.

    And those that get licenses that they see as conservative will put them on a list and go after them at some point

  2. ….another option to discredit ccw permit holders, “”accidentally release their personal information in a data leak!”????

  3. Their long-term goal is to establish a “Social Credit System” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System). If you read about how this was done in Communist China (CCP), you can see how this California “gun control” legislation would fit in with that type of system. Elections have consequences. If you don’t like what these radicals are attempting to do, STOP VOTING FOR THEM.

    1. P.S. Is this what you want in America?
      “According to the Chinese government’s 2015 Plan for Implementation, the Social Credit System was due to be fully implemented by 2020. Once implemented, the system will manage the rewards and punishments for businesses, institutions and individuals on the basis of their economic and personal behavior. Punishments for poor social credit include increased audits and government inspections for businesses, reduced employment prospects, travel bans, exclusion from private schools, slow internet connection, exclusion from high-prestige work, exclusion from hotels, and public shaming. Rewards for positive social credit include less frequent inspections and audits for businesses, fast-tracked approvals for government services, discounts on energy bills, being able to rent bikes and hotels without payment of a deposit, better interest rates at banks, and tax breaks.[75]

      As of June 2019, according to the National Development and Reform Commission of China, 27 million air tickets as well as 6 million high-speed rail tickets had been denied to people who were deemed “untrustworthy (失信)” (on a blacklist), and 4.4 million “untrustworthy” people had chosen to fulfill their duties required by the law.[76][77] Certain personal information of the blacklisted people is deliberately made accessible to the society and is displayed online as well as at various public venues such as movie theaters and buses,[74][78][79][80] while some cities have also banned children of “untrustworthy” residents from attending private schools and even universities.[81][82][83][84][85] On the other hand, people with high credit ratings may receive rewards such as less waiting time at hospitals and governmental agencies, discounts at hotels, greater likelihood of receiving employment offers and so on.[86][87][88][89]” – Wikipedia

  4. A letter, dated July 8, 2022, authored by Rob Bonta, Attorney General for the State California, was sent to all in California who are holders of a CCW. The letter begins “…is to inform you a recent security incident that involved an unauthorized release of your personal information by the California Department of Justice (DOJ).” The letter continues with explanations as to what happened and what information was involved, released. Indicated is that an investigation is to be made into the incident, “We are working to improve security, mitigate risk , and have launched an investigation into how this occurred at DOJ.” Additionally they have established a call center to address questions and concerns. They, the DOJ are offering complimentary access to credit monitoring services through IDX for 12 months. The deadline to enroll is October 8, 2022.

    One should not touch this “offer” as it seems to be a continuation of the plan to expose all CCW holders in California. First. it is the “Whoops” we let the cat out of the bag. Second, it is to entice signing up to a “monitoring service” where one willingly provides all personal information and helps to “enhance” a list of unworthies. It seems that the National Development and Reform Commission of China has already provided instructions to the “elected” cabal of elites governing the State of California.

    1. CREDIT MONITORING ??? What the eff, are they KIDDING???

      What about 24/7 home security services to prevent the inevitable break-ins, harassments or other personal space invasions by the unhinged left???

  5. And, as always, the criminals will do as they please, knowing they have rights, and little or nothing will happen to them. In CA, the criminals have more rights than the law-abiding. Want to steal? Help yourself, just make sure it’s less than $950. Want to carry a weapon? May as well, can’t depend on the police.

  6. Democrats have no concept what “Shall Not Be Infringed” means. But I will give them credit for one thing. Unwittingly, their draconian policies are directly responsible for more guns and ammo sold than any Republican could achieve in a lifetime of politics. And best yet, the trend is accelerating, even among their own voters. Freedom is coming. God Bless Americans.

  7. My US Army DD214 says I have a Marksman badge. I did guard duty on the bunker line in Viet Nam. In my teens, I often went to mountains with friends for target shooting and went to gun ranges with police officers. I would refuse their firearms training class; and not allow any Democrat politician to judge my character. But to attest to my good character, I would tell them I would never vote for any Democrat.

    As I understand the Supreme Court ruling, you can just do open carry on your hip in plain sight and avoid the CCW.

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