A bill restricting concealed carry rights, Senate Bill 918 by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), was dead in early August, until it was moved out Assembly Appropriations with 32 pages of 185 new amendments.
SB 918 creates a new issuing process for concealed carry weapons licenses (CCW licenses) following the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. According to Sen. Portantino, SB 918 “seeks to address the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bruen case wherein it rejected a good cause standard for the issuance of a CCW license.”
SB 918 didn’t pass the smell test, even with 7 Democrats, and even after Portantino added an urgency clause making the bill effective immediately.
The Supreme Court issued a critical decision in June striking down the New York gun law that puts unconstitutional restrictions on concealed carry of a gun out in public. And because this is the law of the land, California with its extremely restrictive gun laws was put on notice.
On behalf of Democratic California Attorney General Rob Bonta, SB 918 was introduced in February in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision.
“This strikes me as clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment, even apart from the Second amendment,” UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh wrote at Reason.com about SB 918. “The government can’t restrict ordinary citizens’ actions—much less their constitutionally protected actions—based on the viewpoints that they express.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom and his appointed Attorney General Rob Bonta backed SB 918. Bonta was seen working the room in the Assembly as members voted late into the night, failing to pass the bill.
The attempt to place a high excise tax on gun sales also failed. AB 1227 by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-Marin) proposed a 10% excise tax on the sales of handguns, and 11% on sales of rifles and shotguns, ammunition, and other parts used to build firearms.
This was Levin’s third attempt to impose a hefty tax on the sale of firearms – all three attempts have now failed since 2018. Lawmakers opposed to the bill questioned why the state would tax law-abiding citizens as if they are criminals.
Gun groups vowed to sue the state if AB 1227 was signed into law.
“If California is unable to pass onerous gun-carry restrictions or a large gun tax, other states may have difficulty finding the votes to do so,” the Reload said. “The defeat of the bills combined with the recent Supreme Court gun-carry ruling also mean many more Californians will be able to legally buy and carry guns.”
While this may be good news for 2nd Amendment supporters, Democrats in the California Legislature passed one dozen gun bills this year, and Gov. Newsom signed them into law.
One new gun law in particular, is concerning: Gun makers and dealers in California will be required to block firearms sales to anyone at risk of breaking the law.. specifically if they have “reasonable cause to believe someone is at substantial risk” of using a gun illegally or of harming themselves or others. “This bill seeks to hold firearm industry members, including manufacturers and sellers, accountable for harms they foreseeably cause and to require them to institute reasonable practices to avoid harm.”
This is like something out of the Minority Report, a futuristic movie where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes.
AB 1594 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), signed into law July 12, 2022 by Gov. Newsom, establishes the “firearm industry standard of conduct,” which places a series of requirements on [gun] industry members and prohibits specified practices. The bill requires regulation of “firearm industry members,” or retail sale of firearm-related products.
Bill analysis acknowledged there likely will be constitutional challenges to AB 1594 – but Democrats passed it anyway.
“While it is clear that states have authority to regulate firearms, any robust regulation, such as this bill, will be susceptible to challenge,” bill analysis said. “Indeed, in one relevant example, a federal appeals court recently struck down California’s laws limiting sales of semiautomatic rifles to persons under 21 years of age.”
“Lawmakers did manage to pass one gun-related bill,” the Reload reported. “AB 160 trys to clarify the intent of a law signed by Governor Newsom in July aimed at banning advertising firearms to minors. However, the original law’s broad language had a chilling effect on youth shooting sports in the state and drew legal challenges from gun-rights groups.”
The Globe reported in July: “AB 2571 authored by Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), and sponsored by Governor Gavin Newsom, and passed entirely along party lines, outlaws firearm industry members from advertising or marketing firearm-related products to minors.”
Gov. Newsom signed AB 2571 into law June 30th, only to have Several pro-gun groups file a lawsuit to stop the governor’s attempt to put an end to youth shooting and shooting sports a week later.
“Today CRPA, Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of California, and others are standing up to Newsom and his propaganda. These groups filed a lawsuit to stop the further implementation of this unconstitutional law and are seeking an immediate injunction to block the law from taking effect.”
The revised language passed unanimously Wednesday night, the Reload reported. “It exempts any advertising for classes or events related to firearm safety, hunting, sport shooting, or promoting membership in any organization. However, the gun-rights advocates challenging the law have vowed to continue their suit against the law. They argue the changes do not fix the core First and Second Amendment problems the law creates.
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