California legislature fails to pass concealed firearms law on technicality

By Maxim Elramsisy | California Black Media

(CBM) – On the final night of this year’s legislative session last week, the State Assembly defeated Senate Bill (SB) 918, authored by State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge). The bill – drafted to tighten restrictions on concealed firearms permits – was one of several bills the Legislature failed to pass in the tense finale of a session marked by a pointed debate between the members of the Democratic majority of the Assembly.

Ahead of the final vote, supporters of the legislation added an emergency amendment so it could take effect immediately – instead of January 1, 2023, when bills pass in the current legislative session come into force.

As an emergency measure, SB 918 required 54 votes in the Assembly to pass, instead of the usual 41. The bill received 53 votes, which is more than enough to reach the governor’s office had the emergency amendment not been added.

Last June, the United States Supreme Court ruled in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen that “may carry” laws giving states discretion to reject concealed carry permits violated the Second Amendment. The ruling unconstitutional California law requiring applicants to show a “good cause” or justifiable reason for needing such a permit.

In his opinion on the case, Judge Clarence Thomas wrote that states could still ban firearms in “sensitive places.” Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, wrote in a concurring opinion that the ruling did not affect “must publish” laws requiring objective licensing requirements such as “fingerprinting , a background check, a mental health records check, and training in firearms handling, and in laws relating to the use of force, among other possible requirements.

SB 918 complies with the Supreme Court ruling by designating courts, places of worship, areas around schools, hospitals, public parks, libraries, airports, public transportation and bars as places sensitive. The bill requires authorities to review publicly available statements, including social media, to determine whether candidates pose a danger to the public.

Applicants would be required to submit to in-person interviews to ensure they are “qualified” and licensing officers will be required to query at least three-character references. The state would also give licensing officials, usually a sheriff’s office, greater ability to revoke a license.

Initially, leaders believed the measure had enough support to pass with an emergency amendment allowing it to take effect this month. After the bill passed the Senate with a super majority (2/3) vote, it did not get a super majority vote in the

State Assembly. Seven members of the Democratic Assembly voted against the bill or abstained from voting.

Notably, two Democratic members, Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) who are running for Congress in the swing districts of the Central Valley may have sensed the possibility of a political backlash in supporting the measures. gun control. Outgoing Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) voted against the measure, although he was expected to support it.

“I’m very disappointed with the outcome,” the bill’s author, Portantino, told California Black Media. “But for a member of the assembly to have changed their vote from yes to no, we would have had 54 votes. I plan to reintroduce the bill on December 5. I have already spoken to the governor and the attorney general.

If passed, the bill could face legal challenges as many critics believe it is too restrictive. The requirement for interviews and character references are points of contention for gun rights groups.

For Governor Gavin Newsom, prioritizing gun control measures is still a top priority of this legislature, responding to an upsurge in gun violence across the country. As of September 2, Gun Violence Archive reports 450 mass shootings in 2022, compared to 417 in 2019.

“California has the strongest gun safety laws in the country, but none of us can afford to be complacent in addressing the gun violence crisis ravaging our country,” said said Newsom. “These new measures will help keep children safe at school, keep guns out of reach of dangerous people, and responsibly regulate the sale of guns in our communities.”

Although defeated in this attempt to regulate concealed firearms, Newsom won a number of notable legislative victories, including AB 2571, which limits the marketing of firearms to children and AB 1594, which denies arms manufacturers certain legal protections when their products are used in committing. acts of violence. SB 1327 and AB 1621 target phantom guns by restricting their manufacture, transportation and sale and closes the loophole that allowed the sale of incomplete and unnumbered “firearm precursors”.

As gun violence rages in the country, the tug of war between gun rights and gun regulation at local and national levels is likely to continue. Although California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, the legislature has yet to find a solution for concealed carry permits.

“Together, all of the gun laws we’ve passed make California safer,” Portantino said, “despite not having CCWs (concealed weapons permits) consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

hurts California, which is why I’m committing to bring her back on December 5th.

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