On Wednesday, a federal judge halted a California law prohibiting firearms in most public places, declaring it unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. This law, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom and set to take effect on January 1, would forbid carrying concealed guns in 26 designated public areas, regardless of permit status. U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney granted a preliminary injunction against the law, which he criticized as contradictory to the Supreme Court’s stance on gun rights.
The law’s suspension allows a court case challenging its validity to proceed, with indications suggesting that gun rights groups might prevail in deeming it unconstitutional. The California Rifle and Pistol Association, one of the plaintiffs, welcomed the judge’s decision, arguing that it would make Californians safer by deterring criminals aware that citizens can defend themselves.
The law’s blockage has ignited reactions from various state officials. State Attorney General Rob Bonta expressed intentions to appeal the ruling, emphasizing the potential risks of permitting firearms in family and children-centric areas. Governor Newsom, a vocal advocate for strict gun control measures, criticized the ruling as a threat to public safety and vowed to continue advocating for stringent gun regulations. He has previously supported various gun control bills and is noted for his national leadership on the issue.
The legal contest follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which dictated that gun laws must align with historical norms of firearm regulation. This case has significantly influenced state responses to gun control. Judge Carney, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003, underscored the provisional nature of the injunction, setting the stage for an ongoing legal battle over the law’s fate and the broader implications for gun control and Second Amendment rights.