Announces upcoming legislation to further strengthen California’s commonsense gun laws
Reminds Californians that other conceal and carry restrictions remain in effect
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta reaffirmed his support for commonsense gun laws in response to an opinion issued today by the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. In Bruen, the Court held that New York’s requirement that a person show “proper cause” in order to receive a license to carry firearms in public is unconstitutional. Despite the ruling, Attorney General Bonta reminds Californians that general prohibitions on carrying loaded and concealed firearms in public without a permit remain in effect.
“Californians are committed to safeguarding our citizens, our children, and our future through commonsense gun laws,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “States still have the right to limit concealed carry permits to those who may safely possess firearms. Our office has been watching this issue closely. We are working with the Governor and the legislature to advance legislation that is both constitutional and will maintain safety for Californians. In the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and with gun deaths at an all-time high, ensuring that dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry concealed firearms is more important than ever. The data is clear and the consequences are dire — more guns in more places make us less safe. In California, we are committed to passing and defending commonsense, constitutional gun laws that save lives.”
“I am honored to be working with the Attorney General and Governor Newsom on SB 918,” said Senator Anthony J. Portantino. “It is critical legislation to strengthen our existing concealed carry laws to ensure every Californian is safe from gun violence. The SCOTUS decision is a setback for safety. I am grateful that we had a plan in place to protect our current and future legislative gun control efforts. In the wake of the Texas tragedy and the continued threats of mass shootings, it’s a moral imperative that California leads on this issue. It is urgent that we address the gun violence epidemic in our country and concealed carry laws are a key component of that effort.”
Attorney General Bonta reminds Californians that carrying a loaded firearm (whether openly or concealed) in most public places is generally prohibited unless a person has been issued a license obtained by applying through local law enforcement. In today’s opinion, the Court held that New York’s law requiring an applicant for a concealed weapon (CCW) license to show “proper cause” in order to secure a license violates the Second Amendment. California similarly requires applicants for licenses to carry firearms in public to show “good cause,” and is likely unconstitutional under Bruen. But other requirements remain intact. Individuals may obtain a permit through a sheriff or chief of police after: a successful background check, the completion of a firearms safety course, and proof of residency, employment, or business in the county or city within the county. These laws were created and passed with the unique needs of Californians in mind.
Gun violence remains a growing threat to public safety throughout the nation. On average, there are over 110 gun deaths each day and nearly 41,000 each year in the U.S. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and adolescents; with U.S. children being more likely to die from gun violence than in any other comparable country.
California continues its efforts to advance laws and policies that save lives and prevent gun deaths. In 2021, California saw a 37% lower gun death rate than the national average. According to the CDC, California’s gun death rate was the 44th lowest in the nation, with 8.5 gun deaths per 100,000 people – compared to 13.7 deaths per 100,000 nationally, 28.6 in Mississippi, 20.7 in Oklahoma, and 14.2 in Texas. California’s gun death rate for children is also lower than other states, and is 58% lower than the national average.
Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state to continue preventing gun violence strategically and aggressively by:
- Advocating for commonsense gun laws including by sponsoring Assembly Bill 1594 to increase accountability for the firearm industry, working to strengthen federal laws to protect the public from ghost guns, and successfully defending California’s laws to prevent gun violence;
- Seizing guns from prohibited persons in the Armed and Prohibited Persons System, and through multiagency sweeps in the Bay Area and Los Angeles County, conducting operations targeting individuals attempting to illegally purchase guns, and collaborating with local law enforcement partners;
- Ending the sale of illegal firearms through litigation against ghost gun retailers, and by putting a stop to the sale of illegal assault weapons in Orange County; and
- Improving transparency by expanding gun violence-related data the California Department of Justice releases to researchers.