Judge blocks California law barring guns from most public spaces

A federal judge on Wednesday placed an injunction on a California law that bars guns from many public spaces. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
A federal judge on Wednesday placed an injunction on a California law that bars guns from many public spaces. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A federal judge has blocked a California law banning firearms from most public spaces on the grounds it violates the Second Amendment, attracting condemnation from the Democrat-led state whose officials said they will appeal the ruling.

The law, Senate Bill 2, was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September to tighten concealed carry permit regulations, including raising the age requirement from 18 to 21, as well as restricting the carrying of firearms in 26 categories of so-called sensitive public places such as hospitals, places of worship or bars or other establishments where alcohol is sold for on-site consumption.


The law was to take effect Jan. 1, but was challenged by concealed carry permit holders and related organizations who argued that S.B.2's provision barring them from carrying firearms in public spaces was unconstitutional.

On Wednesday, Judge Cormac Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division, agreed, granting them the injunction they sought.

"S.B.2's coverage is sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment and openly defiant of the Supreme court," Carney, a President George W. Bush appointee, wrote in his ruling.


"S.B.2 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."

Newsom and his attorney general, Rob Bonta, were quick to condemn the ruling, with the governor stating it defies common sense.

"What is repugnant is this ruling, which green lights the proliferation of guns in our hospitals, libraries and children's playground -- spaces, which should be safe for all," he said in a statement.

Bonta, in a separate statement, said the ruling will endanger communities.

"We will seek the opinion of the appellate court to make it right," he said.

The ruling comes on the same day the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which challenged S.B.2, filed another lawsuit, but this time against S.B. 1384, which would require licensed firearm dealers to have digital video surveillance, burglary alarm and keyless entry systems on business premises, among other changes.

The CRPA argues the law violates one's right to privacy "by imposing Orwellian tactics by the state to view and overhear the private and confidential communications of anyone who enters a gun shop, gun show property or home of a hone-based federal firearm licensee," it said in the court document.


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