Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

California leaders pledge new law to address gun ruling

  • Updated
  • 0
Supreme Court Guns California

John Parkin, co-owner of Coyote Point Armory displays a handgun at his store in Burlingame, Calif., Thursday, June 23, 2022. California's top law enforcement official said that he is working with the governor and legislative leaders on legislation to keep dangerous people from carrying concealed weapons in public, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision that imperils the state's current law.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California legislators will consider a new law within days to keep dangerous people from carrying concealed weapons in public, Gov. Gavin Newsom and his top law enforcement official said Thursday after a U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidated the most populous state’s current law.

The high court struck down a New York law requiring that people seeking a license to carry a gun in public demonstrate a particular need, such as a direct threat to their safety. California is among a half-dozen states with a similar requirement.

Newsom in a tweet called the ruling a "dangerous decision from a court hell bent on pushing a radical ideological agenda and infringing on the rights of states to protect our citizens from being gunned down in our streets, schools, and churches.”

Attorney General Rob Bonta said the high court’s ruling still leaves states with the right to limit concealed carry permits to those who meet legal standards to safely possess firearms.

Lawmakers are amending legislation to expand the qualifications people must have to obtain a concealed carry permit, and to expand the places where no weapons may be carried. The revised bill will get its first hearing Tuesday, and lawmakers hope to send it quickly to Newsom for his signature.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said he is “1,000% confident” that based on the high court’s ruling the new legislation “will be thrown into the waste bin of unconstitutional laws.”

Bonta conceded the ruling clearly overturns California’s law requiring people to give a good reason for carrying a concealed weapon. But he said the decision still allows the state to require things like an assessment of a person's dangerousness.

He said that will be “robust,” by examining things like arrests and criminal convictions, restraining orders “and other publicly available information that might suggest that a person poses a danger to themselves or to others.”

The state will require background checks, including with fingerprinting, as well as firearms training and a mental health assessment, Bonta said. Many of the precautions already are allowed under current law.

The Supreme Court decision “has made it clear that states like California still have many venues to prevent senseless death and keep our families safe from gun violence, and we’re going to use those avenues in California,” Bonta said.

Moreover, he said the decision still allows states to prohibit concealed weapons in certain sensitive areas like parks, amusement parks, sporting venues and other areas “of significant public congregation.”

Attorney Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, predicted Democrats pushing the bill are “going to declare every place they think of as a ‘sensitive place.'"

“These are the kind of games that they’re going to play to frustrate the spirit of the ruling,” he said.

Paredes said he expects a flood of gun owners to apply for concealed carry permits, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area and greater Los Angeles region, “and just dare the permitting authorities to go against this decision.”

San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said his office already saw a jump in applications — 22 by Thursday afternoon, compared to two pending applications submitted since the beginning of the year. Miyamoto said his office hasn’t issued any permits since January 2020, when he was sworn in.

“We’re going to see a consistent interest in applying for concealed weapon carry because of the current climate that we’re in and people’s perception that it’s unsafe in the community,” he said. “My only concern would be more guns out in the community doesn’t mean it’s safer.”

John Parkin, co-owner of Coyote Point Armory in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Burlingame, said the court's decision removes the sheriff's ability to subjectively determine whether someone has a valid reason for a concealed carry permit.

“The people in San Francisco will now have the ability to go and apply for a license and actually not get rejected by a good cause statement that doesn’t meet the criteria of the elected sheriff," he said, adding the ruling “ will even out what happens between states that have more strict rules against states that have more normal Second Amendment federal rules that they use."

Nearly two-thirds of California’s 58 counties already make it relatively easy to obtain concealed carry permits but many are in rural areas. Michel's association plans to immediately update a lawsuit already under consideration by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging Los Angeles County's concealed weapon permitting policy.

Deputy Grace Medrano, a spokesperson for Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, said in a statement he has already issued more permits “as violent crime has risen within Los Angeles County."

"The Sheriff recognizes the threats to the residents have increased and has responded accordingly,” Medrano said.

Officials in both San Francisco and the city of Los Angeles said they are reviewing the Supreme Court’s decision and will seek a legal opinion from Bonta’s office.

Newsom and Bonta are backing a bill by Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino, who earlier this month amended pending legislation to update California’s concealed carry permit requirements. Bonta and Portantino said it will be further amended before Tuesday’s hearing to conform with details in the Supreme Court ruling.

Bonta said the bill could go to Newsom by month’s end, before lawmakers adjourn for a monthlong summer recess. If two-thirds of lawmakers approve the bill it would take effect immediately instead of in January, but Bonta said those details still are being worked out.

Paredes said the bill “will do nothing but complicate the process and increase the costs of obtaining a permit by law-abiding citizens.”

Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco and Haven Daley in Burlingame contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months — an election-year move meant to ease financial pressures. But it's not clear Biden has the votes to suspend the taxes. Many lawmakers in his own party have expressed reservations. Biden says he knows the move wouldn't reduce “all the pain but it will be a big help.” If the gas tax savings were fully passed along to consumers, people would save roughly 3.6% at the pump. Prices average about $5 a gallon nationwide. Biden also wants states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief.

President Joe Biden and Western allies at a three-day summit in the Bavarian Alps say they're intent on keeping economic fallout from the war in Ukraine from fracturing the global coalition working to punish Russia’s aggression. Britain’s Boris Johnson warned the leaders not to give in to “fatigue” even as Russia lobbed new missiles at Kyiv. Biden says the coalition of countries can't let Russian President Vladimir Putin play the countries off of one another and break down their resolve. Leaders of the Group of Seven top economies opened their annual summit in Germany on Sunday. Biden also announced that G-7 nations will ban imports of Russian gold. Gold is a top Russian export.

Katie Britt has won the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama, defeating six-term Congressman Mo Brooks in a primary runoff after former President Donald Trump endorsed and then un-endorsed him. The loss ends a turbulent campaign for Brooks, a conservative firebrand who had fully embraced Trump’s election lies and had run under the banner “MAGA Mo.” But it wasn’t enough for the former president, who initially backed Brooks in the race to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby, but then rescinded his support as Brooks languished in the polls. Trump eventually endorsed Britt in the race’s final stretch after she emerged as the top vote-getter in the state’s May 24 primary.

Gov. Andy Beshear has taken executive action to activate the state’s price gouging laws. He's touting it as a consumer protection measure amid sky-high gas prices straining Kentuckians’ budgets. The Democratic governor signed an executive order Thursday declaring a state of emergency. It's in response to gas prices hovering close to $5 per gallon. With his action, Kentucky consumers can report suspected price gouging at the pump to Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office. Beshear says “every little bit helps” in trying to buffer consumers from increasing fuel prices. Cameron is urging Kentuckians to alert his office to any signs of price gouging.

Ukrainian officials say their country's forces are withdrawing from a besieged eastern city to move to stronger positions. The industrial city of Sievierodonetsk, the administrative center of the Luhansk region, has faced relentless Russian bombardment. Ukrainian troops fought the Russians in house-to-house battles before retreating to a huge chemical factory on the city’s edge, where they holed up in its sprawling underground structures with civilians. Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said Friday that the Ukrainian troops have been ordered to leave Sievierodonetsk, which has been reduced mostly to rubble and seen its population decline from an estimated 100,000 to 10,000.

The House Jan. 6 committee has heard chilling, tearful testimony that Donald Trump’s relentless pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential election led to widespread threats against local workers and state officials. The panel focused Tuesday on the “heroes” of democracy — election workers and officials who fended off the defeated president’s demands. The committee is focused on Trump's schemes to reject state tallies and electors, all fueled by his false claims of election fraud. It heard from Arizona’s Republican state House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about pressure from Trump, including Trump’s call asking the Georgia official to “find 11,780” votes to prevent Joe Biden’s victory.

About 4,000 protesters have gathered in Munich as the Group of Seven leading economic powers are set to hold their annual gathering in the Germany's Bavarian Alps. Organizers had hoped to mobilize up to 20,000 protesters in the Bavarian city on Saturday. One of the protest organizers theorized that potential participants might consider it inappropriate to challenge the world’s wealthiest democracies during Russia’s war in Ukraine.  Fifteen groups critical of globalization called on people to participate in demonstrations for this weekend’s summit. The G-7 leaders are expected to start arriving Saturday afternoon and will tackle issues such as Russia’s war on Ukraine, climate change, energy and the looming food security crisis.

President Joe Biden says he’s considering pressing for a holiday on the federal gasoline tax. That could possibly save U.S. consumers as much as 18.4 cents a gallon. Biden told reporters Monday that his decision could come by the end of the week. The administration is increasingly looking for ways to spare the public from higher prices at the pump, which began to climb last year and surged after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Gas prices nationwide are averaging just under $5 a gallon, according to AAA. Taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel help pay for highways.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sought to reassure the public that the Fed will raise interest rates high and fast enough to quell inflation, without tightening credit so much as to throttle the economy and cause a recession. Testifying to the Senate Banking Committee, Powell faced skeptical questions about the Fed’s ability to tame inflation, which has surged to the top of Americans’ concerns as congressional elections near. Democrats wondered whether the Fed’s accelerated rate hikes will succeed in curbing inflation or might instead just tip the economy into a downturn. Several Republicans charged that the Powell Fed had moved too slowly to begin raising rates and now must speed up its hikes.

Recommended for you

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.



Breaking News

Breaking Sports News

News Alert