California’s Gun Ban in Most Public Places Is Blocked Again


After a federal appeals court ruled on Saturday that a lower court’s stay on the prohibition should stand, California is once again banned from implementing its ban on weapons in most public places.

Back and forth in the legal world

The dispute revolves around Senate Bill 2, a state statute that imposes various limits on gun ownership, the most notable of which is a prohibition on firearms in a broad list of public venues.

Since the prohibition was adopted, there has been much debate about whether the law, which went into effect on January 1, could be implemented. On December 20, Judge Cormac J. Carney of the United States District Court for the Central District of California stopped enforcement of the law when concealed-carry permit holders and other gun-rights organizations sued the state, claiming that the statute was unconstitutional.

At the time, Judge Carney stated that the restriction would unconstitutionally “deprive” persons of their right to bear guns. He issued a preliminary injunction against the statute, declaring it “repugnant to the Second Amendment and openly defiant of the Supreme Court.”

Last weekend, on December 30, a panel of judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lifted the injunction, allowing the law to go into force. However, a second set of Ninth Circuit judges overturned that decision on Saturday, maintaining the lower court’s order.

Background Information on the Law

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed Senate Bill 2 into law shortly after it was introduced in September.

Guns are prohibited in public venues, which are categorized into 26 categories and include playgrounds, public transportation, stadiums, amusement parks, and museums.

California’s Gun Ban in Most Public Places Is Blocked Again

Furthermore, the legislation prohibits carrying firearms on the premises of private enterprises unless there are conspicuous signs indicating that guns are permitted. It also raises the minimum age for acquiring a gun license to 21 and increases the amount of gun safety training required to earn a new license.

Mr. Newsom had praised an earlier appeals court order that allowed Senate Bill 2 to go into effect, claiming that it would “allow our common-sense gun laws to remain in place while we appeal the district court’s dangerous ruling.”

The bill was part of a wave of gun control legislation that occurred after the United States Supreme Court ruled in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen to overturn a New York law that strictly banned the carrying of weapons outside houses. With the judgment, handed out in 2022, the Supreme Court dramatically altered the bar for gun prohibitions.

Since then, some states have attempted to prohibit the carrying of weapons. New York, for example, approved legislation prohibiting the carrying of firearms in “sensitive locations” such as Times Square, sports events, and houses of religion, as well as on public transportation. The law has caused misunderstanding and has resulted in numerous litigation.

What Comes Next?

The lawsuit concerning the constitutionality of California’s ban will be heard in April.

Proponents of the measure say that it is constitutional and will protect Californians. California’s Democratic Attorney General, Rob Bonta, has claimed that “more guns in more sensitive places makes the public less safe.”

However, some argue that the restriction is too wide, covering too many areas of the state. “For decades, people with a license to carry in public have been able to carry in all of these places,” C.D. Michel, general counsel for the California Rifle & Pistol Association, said following the December appeals court decision.

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