United States Appeal Court Lets California Ban Firearms in the Majority of Public Places

On December 30, 2023, a federal appeals court upheld a California law that prohibits the carrying of firearms in most public places. In doing so, the appeals court has allowed the law to go into effect at the beginning of 2024, as the panel put on hold a judge’s ruling declaring the measure unconstitutional.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals froze a December 20 injunction issued by a judge who ruled that California’s law infringed on the right of citizens to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

The three-judge panel issued an administrative stay that froze the injunction on hold until another 9th Circuit panel can determine whether to issue a longer pause while the litigation goes through the motions.

This measure is set to take effect on January 1 after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed it into law after a landmark ruling in June 2022 by  the Supreme Court that expanded the right to bear arms nationally. 

In the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen ruling, the Supreme Court overturned New York’s stringent gun permit regulations and ruled that the Second Amendment safeguards an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense. 

Under this gun control law, people could not carry concealed firearms in 26 kinds of “sensitive places” which includes hospitals, playgrounds, stadiums, zoos and places of worship, irrespective of whether they had permits to carry concealed firearms.

The law, in question Senate Bill 2, also prohibited people from carrying concealed guns at privately-owned commercial venues that are open to the general public, unless the business’s owner posts a sign allowing licensed firearm holders to carry firearms on their property.

A coalition of concealed carry permit holders and gun rights organizations such as the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, and the California Rifle & Pistol Association filed a lawsuit, contending that the new law was unconstitutional.

On December 20, US District Judge Cormac Carney, agreed with the plaintiffs and blocked the law as the case continues to be sorted out. 

Carney ruled that the law “turns nearly every public place in California into a ‘sensitive place,’ effectively abolishing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding and exceptionally qualified citizens to be armed and to defend themselves in public.”

California is a place where gun rights go to die. Ranked in 48th place according to Gun & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners rankings, California has become thoroughly hostile to gun owners to the point where they can’t find legislative solutions to their problems. 

As a result, they will have to use the courts to restore their rights. That’s the stark reality for gun owners living in blue states. 

Our Latest Articles