Rob Bonta Gun Control California
California Attorney General Rob Bonta
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By Chuck Michel

Multiple gun owner’s rights advocacy groups and individuals have joined together and filed a Second Amendment challenge to Senate Bill (SB2) in the United States District Court. The lawsuit is known as May v. Bonta and you can see the filings so far here. We are already in contact with the state’s lawyers, are working out a briefing schedule, and have a tentative hearing date on a motion for preliminary injunction on December 4, 2023.

SB2 designates much of the state as a “sensitive place” and thereby eliminates those places where law-abiding gun owners who have qualified for and been issued a permit to carry a firearm by law enforcement can carry their approved firearms. So, SB2 effectively makes a permit useless. SB2 also makes it much more time-consuming and costly to obtain a concealed carry permit.

SB2 is a vindictive legislative response designed to get around the Supreme Court’s historic Bruen decision from 2022. Bruen held that a permit to carry a firearm in public to defend yourself and your family is a right, not a privilege. As a result, California and other states that previously limited access to these permits had to start issuing them, and the number of permit holders in California has greatly increased.

The Bruen decision also clarifies that governments cannot limit the usefulness of these permits by over-designating places as “sensitive,” where carrying a firearm, even with a permit, would be prohibited. Governor Newsom and the anti-gun-owner legislators who voted for this law are trying to do exactly that. They know this bill will only affect lawful gun owners because they are the only ones who pass the qualification process to get a permit.

SB2 does nothing to stop gun violence by criminals. And in fact, data from several states demonstrates that Americans with concealed carry permits commit crimes at extraordinarily low rates, as the lawsuit explains. Recently, a Hawaii district court relied in part on this same data, which was presented to it by some of the same associations now challenging SB2, to conclude that Hawaii’s similar law could be enjoined.

gun-free zone sign gun free
Shutterstock

Designating so many places as gun-free zones is a retaliatory tactic coordinated by well-financed national gun control advocacy that is being used in states hostile to gun ownership to make the right to defend yourself in public useless. California follows in the footsteps of Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Hawaii.

Federal courts in those other jurisdictions have already enjoined laws like SB2. These rulings include, but are not limited to: Antonyuk v. Hochul, No. 1:22-CV-0986 (GTS/CFH), 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201944 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 7, 2022); Koons v. Platkin, No. CV 22-7463 (RMB/AMD), 2023 WL 3478604 (D.N.J. May 16, 2023); and Wolford v. Lopez, No. CV 23-00265 LEK-WRP, 2023 WL 5043805, at *1 (D. Haw. Aug. 8, 2023).

It is an open secret in the hallways of the Capital that Newsom hopes to pass so many gun control laws that Second Amendment advocacy groups cannot keep up. But those groups have responded by forming an unprecedented strategic partnership and coordinating their efforts to fight back.

We now have a strong coalition of gun rights groups fighting against these laws. And when we win, the state will be forced to pay our legal bill.

Pro-Second Amendment groups joining in a lawsuit against Newsom and SB2 are well known in the state, and many have been fighting against unconstitutional gun bans for decades. The coalition includes the California Rifle & Pistol Association, Gun Owners of California, Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, and Second Amendment Foundation.

Gavin Newsom angry pointing
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/José Luis Villegas)

Each organization brings resources, members, donors, and expertise to this challenge. Newsom has unlimited tax dollars to battle for his unconstitutional laws in court and thinks that he can bankrupt us. But we have millions of gun owners who donate to support these challenges. When our elected officials refuse to uphold the law of the land and our Constitution, we are proud to hold that line for the people of California.”

The crown jewel of Newsom’s anti-Second Amendment campaign is his ploy to get a 28th Amendment passed that would gut the Second Amendment, including a ban on semi-automatic firearms. But 38 states would have to agree to that amendment, and 24 states have already filed amicus briefs in courts that urged those courts to strike down laws banning semi-automatic firearms commonly possessed by tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners. So, his constitutional amendment gambit, which insiders already recognize is a ploy to raise money and give him a platform to run his shadow campaign for president, is dead on arrival.

 

C.D. “Chuck” Michel is Senior Partner at the Long Beach, California Law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C. He is the author of California Gun Laws, A Guide to State and Federal Firearm Regulations now in its 10th edition for 2023 and available at www.calgunlawsbook.com.

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35 COMMENTS

  1. I see that the case has been assigned to Cormac Carney, a PDT appointee who enjoined the CA microstamping law.

    Methinks a preliminary injunction is coming soon.

    • LKB –

      GFZs transmit critical info to various lurkers and liers-in-wait – they (GFZs) advertise that a patron is either unarmed or a criminal. And not only inside the GFZ, but also when traveling to and from the GFZ to wherever the hapless citizen stashed their protective property, usually car or house.

      This factual situation creates a vulnerability that can extend well beyond the boundaries of the GFZ.

      I mention this because the arguments I have read all pertain to what happens inside the GFZ, with no mention of the consequences that extend outside the GFZ boundaries.

      Any chance of a privacy rights argument being entertained by the courts? Or does that already happen, and I just missed it?

  2. Other than a federal court house and the cabin of a commercial aircraft I’ve never been in a GFZ. They’re ridiculous little signs that serious people, good and bad, ignore.

    • California was full of them even before SB2, especially so for those in the Bay Area and southern California who could not demonstrate “good cause” to obtain a CCW. California has a state law version of the Gun Free School Zone Act. And other than being able to drive past a school within the 1000′ exclusion zone, CCW holders were prohibited from carrying in all schools and universities, all courthouses, all government buildings, and public transit. The new law includes parks, museums, theaters, and just like the NYS law, all private business that do not post signs granting permission, and all private property without the express consent of the owner.

      • Yeah, well guess how many CCW holders who waited 12-15 months for their permit and paid all that money aren’t going to turn around and easily comply just because Gov Hair Gel said so.

        This will be knocked down quickly.

    • The vst majority of those “no guns here” signs are NOT state compliant, and thus are meaingless bits of graphic “art” on a cheap signpost or nailed to a wall. They are designed tobe ignored.
      The problem with laws likeSB2 in California is not the signs. Nope. It names and/or describes many areas by type and places them off limits to anyone armed and with the Mother May I Card in his pocket. thus unless one has scrupulously studied the list of “prohibited places” AND is very astute as he makes his way about his daily business, one can very quickly and tragically become a vicim of the Gebbling Nuisance, totally unawares. No matter to that clown and his sidekicks: that’s what they want. To threaten and frighten every law abiding person inside the State of California into leaving their guns home, or making them criminals so they can’t even HAVE a gun any more.

      • Street beat cops here don’t care about laws like this. If they can’t even keep up with the changes and all the details they need to memorize for proper enforcement, then they know they can’t reasonably expect Joe Six Pack CCW Holder to know.

        The only reason laws like this are passed are for political grandstanding by the Democrats, and for a zealous D.A. to tack on extra charges against an arrested criminal to leverage a plea deal.

        Everyday cops here are tired of this crap.

    • “They’re ridiculous little signs that serious people, good and bad, ignore.”

      That’s a whole lot easier to do in Florida, since ignoring those signs does not lead to criminal penalties. The most they (the business) can do is trespass your ass if you fail to leave when told.

      I bet that’s not the case in places like California or New York city… 🙁

  3. I am so sick of this Governor and AG using my tax dollars to infringe on my rights so I then have to help fund lawsuits to maintain or regain said rights. Please stop the madness you traitors, and stand by your oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.

  4. you know Hawaii is really bad when it’s listed twice in the same sentence.

    the real question is, how are they going to get the criminals to comply ??

    maybe minor iq or wacko dacko can tell us how they plan to get the criminals to comply.

  5. “3 letters of reference” to get a concealed carry permit?

    So anti-social types are stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights because they’re exercising their 1st Amendment right to freedom of association?

    Loners need to file a suit on that one.

    • Here in CA you have to have proof of a permanent residence to purchase a firearm. A transient or homeless person has their 2a rights suspended for being poor.

    • It should be innocent until proven guilty by a jury, not guilty until cleared by some references/postal address system/etc., but they despise 5A and 6A as much as 2A.

  6. Never ending tit for tat lawsuits are the result for failing to Define Gun Control by its History of rot. Most everyone knows what a noose represents and most go bananas at the sight of one however a noose pales in comparison to Gun Control and its baggage. Therefore LKB et al the public not knowing the Facts about Gun Control is the problem…

  7. This cat and mouse game will continue until SOMEONE takes on these treasonous in fidel politicians with criminal cases for felony perjury for their violations of their sworn oaths of office whith they refuse to honour. The Nuisance and his Knot Sea sidekick Bonehead know full well what they are doing, AND that is is illegal as can be. They are lso being hugely irresponsible from a fiscal standpoint, knowing they are buring through millions of dollars of PUBLIC money to violate the rights of their constituents.

  8. Lawyers lie even when they would profit by telling the truth.

    This article is so dense with lies, that I don’t know where to begin.

    First of all, an injunction that is stayed is an injunction that has no effect. Also, California is in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that rules in favor of the government in every Second Amendment appeal that lands in its inbox. And no, Baird was not a win and both Baird and Teter aren’t final in the court of appeals.

    AG Bonta is a moron. He could very well claim that the places listed in the only subsection of S.B. 2 the May v. Bonta lawsuit challenges are “sensitive places” but the bill does not call these places sensitive places. They are places that only apply to people with a concealed carry permit and given that concealed carry is not a right unless Peruta v. San Diego en banc is overruled by an en banc panel of the 9th circuit then concealed carry is not a right.

    Some acute observers might comment that California statutes do provide for handgun Open Carry licenses but the lawsuit does not challenge the prohibited places as they apply to persons with a handgun Open Carry license. Bonta can “truthfully” say nobody has applied for a handgun Open Carry license in over 12 years. They haven’t applied because the attorney general has not made available an Open Carry application in over 12 years. In any event, the Plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the law as it applies to people with handgun Open Carry licenses.

    And since concealed carry is not a right, the state is free to ban concealed carry in all of those places, and everywhere else.

    The lawsuit may very well win in the district court. The “win” will be stayed, if it is a preliminary injunction appeal then maybe it will be remanded for a do-over like Baird v. Bonta. If it is the appeal of a final judgment then it will be years before the appeal is argued and submitted for a decision and years before there is a final judgment by the three-judge panel followed by another couple of years of en banc proceedings.

    By the time the cert petition lands in SCOTUS’ inbox at the end of this decade or early in the next, Justice Thomas and Justice Alito will likely no longer be on the bench.

  9. Federal GFZs abound. Saw a map recently, overlaying federal GFZs in a city. Being inside 1000ft of a school zone can wreak havoc on freedom to carry a firearm. Indeed, state GFZs and fed GFZs can easily interlock. Even if SB2 is overturned, the fed control of school zones puts gun owners in peril of unknowingly violating a GFZ.

    • Which is why my lawsuit seeks licenses to openly carry handguns as well as a declaration that no license is required.

      The problem with challenging the Federal gun-free school zone law, particularly in the 9th circuit, is the lawsuit would be tossed because as far as I can determine, the only people charged with violating the Federal law are people engaged in criminal activity or people who are prohibited from possessing firearms.

      And on that rare occasion when someone who is doing neither is charged, the so-called gun-rights groups are nowhere to be found.

      On August 21st, Gabriel Metcalf was arraigned on a violation of the Federal gun-free school zone act. He said he was carrying his long gun to protect himself and his mother from a guy who had been threatening them.

      The judge held him on a no-bail order not because he has a criminal history or because he is nuts. He is being held for insisting that the law he is charged with is unconstitutional.

      He passed the mental evaluation. The man who was harassing him and his mother has been arrested and charged with a felony.

      And yet he is still being held without bail on a charge that carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail for someone like him.

      Mr. Metcalf lives in Montana. Montana is in the 9th circuit. A person charged with a crime automatically has standing to challenge the crime he is charged with.

      But where are the so-called gun rights groups?

      https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/67722038/united-states-v-metcalf/

      • “But where are the so-called gun rights groups?”

        Depleting resources on nibbling around the edges of gun control, rather than going for the legal throat of NFA and GCA (the long march is preferable to direct attack of two blatantly unconstitutional federal gun control), and defending the gun industry. Re-action beats action, doanchano?

  10. What I find interesting, is you don’t hear of the NRA owning any of the suits. Totally missing in action.

    • “What I find interesting, is you don’t hear of the NRA owning any of the suits. Totally missing in action.”

      Around here, those words are considered hate speech.

      “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

      • “Around here, those words are considered hate speech.”

        Au contraire, mon frere. Those words are the prevailing wisdom on the site. Woe to the one who would dare to dissent.

    • The challenge on this will be interesting. Poll taxes were invalidated as unconstitutionally impeding the right to vote. I can’t see how a designedly punitive tax to impede the RKBA survives a Bruen challenge.

  11. I strongly believe they know this will go nowhere. They are just poking us with a sharp stick and mucking things up with their corrupt Judges for as long as possible.

  12. Commiefornia (as the current lawless Dept of “Justice”) has unlimited taxpayer funds to pursue their wacko marxist agenda. We normal people have to contribute funds to challenge their lawless AntiConstitution activities. LOSER PAYS!

  13. Guess Commiefornia didn’t learn when the courts spanked New York state for having “too many” sensitive locations. (Almost everywhere was a “sensitive place”.)

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