Federal Judge Blocks California Gun Law Banning Concealed Carry

United States District Judge Cormac Carney of the Central District of California blocked a California gun law Wednesday that would have barred permit holders from carrying firearms in a number of public places.

Judge Carney — an appointee of former President George W. Bush — issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the controversial gun law from taking effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
“The right to self-defense and to defend one’s family is fundamental and inherent to our very humanity irrespective of any formal codification,” wrote Carney in his decision.

“For many years, the right to bear arms, and so necessarily the right to self-defense, was relegated to second-class status,” Carney added. “But the United States Supreme Court made clear in its landmark decisions [Heller, McDonald and Bruen] that [ … ] individuals must be able to effectuate their right to self-defense by, if they so choose, responsibly bearing arms.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed Senate Bill 2 into law in Sept. California Democrats wrote the law to circumvent the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. The high court ruled then that states and local governments cannot curtail American citizens’ gun rights under the Second Amendment.

Gov. Newsom called the Bruen decision “a perversion” as he signed SB2 into law. The gun law contains severe restrictions on where concealed weapons permit holders would be allowed to carry firearms in California. Judge Carney wrote, “SB2’s coverage is sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment and openly defiant of the Supreme Court.”

The law creates a new “sensitive places” designation for twenty-six categories of public places, and prohibits legal gun owners with concealed carry permits from carrying handguns in these locations. The list of gun free zones under SB2 includes public transportation, playgrounds, libraries, banks, places of worship, stadiums, and amusement parks.

The temporary injunction against the new law will give plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the state over SB2 more time to make the case that it violates the Second Amendment rights of Californians. The plaintiffs, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, praised the result in their case.