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California Bill Would Limit Where Firearms May be Carried and Who Could Have Them

Press Release

by ECT

Senator Portantino’s & California’s Response to Supreme Court’s Concealed Weapon Decision Passes Assembly Public Safety Committee

Sacramento, CA – Senate Bill 918, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) which strengthens California’s conceal-carry laws, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee this week.

SB 918 will implement significant improvements to California’s existing conceal-carry weapon (CCW) laws to address the recent United States Supreme Court decision in New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. California Attorney General Rob Bonta is the sponsor of the SB 918.  The Attorney General and Portantino have been working collaboratively in anticipation of a quick response to the Supreme Court ruling that came out last week.

This morning, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla expressed their strong support for SB 918 and applauded the quick and appropriate response to the Supreme Court’s decision. The Senators recognized that making improvements to California’s concealed carry permitting regime are critical and urgent in order to ensure safety for Californians.

Senator Anthony J. Portantino

“In the wake of the Texas tragedy and the continued threat of mass shootings, it’s a moral imperative that California leads on the issue of gun safety and reform,” stated Senator Portantino. “I am proud to be working with Attorney General Bonta and Governor Newsom on SB 918 and greatly appreciate the support this morning from Senator Feinstein and Senator Padilla.  This is critical legislation to strengthen our existing concealed carry laws and ensure every Californian is safe from gun violence.  We must be diligent in addressing the gun violence epidemic in our country and concealed carry laws are a key component of this effort.”

The Supreme Court in New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen recently decided that licensing schemes requiring an applicant for a concealed carry license to show good cause (or something similar) to carry firearms are unconstitutional.  SB 918 is California’s legislative response to the court’s ruling and would establish a more uniform and effective licensing process throughout the state.

“Following the Supreme Court’s egregious decision in the Bruen case, states with common-sense and comprehensive gun laws like California have been forced to act swiftly to strengthen long standing laws to keep their residents safe,” stated Brady President Kris Brown.  “California’s Legislature has done just that, quickly passing this bill to ensure that there is a robust licensing system to ensure that those who carry firearms in public do so safely.  Brady thanks Senator Portantino for introducing this important bill and urges the California Senate to pass it without delay.”

Specifically, SB 918 would address four areas:

  • Licensing Regime: requires the licensing authority to determine whether the applicant is qualified based on defined criteria.  The bill will provide a mechanism for establishing a standardized CCW application to be used statewide; applicants would be required to list all prior arrests, criminal convictions, restraining or protective orders, as well as references and would be required to attend in-person interviews.
  • Age Restrictions: sets the minimum age to obtain a CCW license at 21.  The age limit will align the CCW licensing process with other gun safety laws, such as the minimum age to purchase a handgun.
  • Gun Storage & Training: imposes new gun storage and training requirements for anyone who obtains or renews a permit to carry a firearm in public.  The bill will limit all CCW licensees to carrying no more than two firearms at any given time in public.
  • Sensitive Places: limits the places in which CCW licensees will be authorized to carry firearms in public.  Under the bill, certain sensitive places will be designated as off-limits for firearms, including school grounds, community colleges, colleges, or university grounds, government and judicial buildings, medical facilities, public transportation, any place where alcohol is sold and consumed, public parks and playgrounds, or special events that require a permit (such as demonstrations).  These restrictions are consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen, which recognized that states may limit the carrying of firearms in certain sensitive places.

“These are important updates to our current CCW laws that are also consistent with the Court’s recent ruling,” stated Senator Portantino.  “For example, the two-gun rule will minimize the use of firearms for illegal purposes and reduce the likelihood of firearms being misplaced or stolen in public, all without impairing the ability of CCW licensees to protect themselves.  Proper training and gun storage is also essential for anyone authorized to possess firearms so they are aware of the laws applicable to the use (and misuse) of firearms and how to safely handle, load, unload, and store a firearm.  And finally, with more thorough licensing procedures, we can ensure that only law-abiding and responsible applicants are authorized to receive a CCW license. All of these improvements together make Californians safer.”

“Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, California can still pass responsible gun laws,” said Krystal LoPilato, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action.  “SB 918 will take important steps in further codifying public safety measures that keep Californians safe from gun violence.  We applaud and thank Senator Portantino for bringing this bill forward.”

During his time in the Assembly, Senator Portantino successfully banned the open carry of handguns and rifles in California and as Senator, he raised the firearm purchase age in California to twenty-one.  In 2019, Governor Newsom also signed Senator Portantino’s SB 172.  The bill enacted a slate of significant provisions related to firearms storage by broadening criminal storage crimes, adding criminal storage offenses to those offenses that can trigger a 10-year firearm ban, and creating an exemption to firearm loan requirements for the purposes of preventing suicide.   The same year, SB 376 was signed into law, which reduces the number of firearms an unlicensed individual is annually able to sell and the frequency with which they are able to sell.

In 2021, Senate Bill 715 was signed into law, which enacts important gun purchase safeguards.  This year, Senator Portantino has authored SB 906, a measure that aims to prevent tragic schools shootings and prioritizes student safety by ensuring safe at-home storage of firearms and quick, robust investigations of imminent school threats.  SB 1327, jointly authored with Senator Hertzberg this year, is another major gun reform measure that offers a new tool to combat the rise in gun violence and save lives – a private right of action.  Governor Gavin Newsom is the official sponsor of the legislation.

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1 comment

JOSE Jul 28, 2022 - 9:31 pm

SB119 is nothing more than tyranny.

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