(FOX40.COM) — With a new gun control law in California suspended as its legality makes its way through the courts, some officials are standing firm on their hopes of seeing the law permanently repealed.
“While we know there is an issue with gun violence and we all want to address it, this path is not the right path to take,” Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson told FOX40.com.
Wendell is referring to Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), which was supposed to become law on Jan. 1, but was temporarily blocked by a federal judge. SB 2 would prohibit licensed concealed firearm holders (CCW) from carrying their firearms at bars, places of worship, parks, public events, stadiums, casinos, financial institutions, medical facilities, on public transportation, and other public places. It also imposes more restrictive criteria on how CCW permits are issued.
“They’re targeting the wrong individuals. They’re fixing something that isn’t broken,” Anderson said.
SB 2 is expected to come before the United States Court of Appeals in April 2024, and Wendell hopes that the courts will see the proposed law as a violation of Second Amendment rights.
“This is not constitutional, in my opinion. We’ll wait for the higher courts to rule, but our CCW holders are law-abiding citizens and they’re not the ones that are committing gun violence out in our streets.”
Some local gun stores that are licensed to train prospective customers for CCW permits are also in opposition to SB 2.
“They’re turning the good guys into bad guys,” said Junior Evans, whose dad owns Shooter’s Paradise gun range in Yuba City, where he works there as an associate. “There are people in our community who have had CCWs for over 25 years. You never hear about them in the news for doing anything crazy. This isn’t about safety it’s about money.”
Evans said that he’s thankful that some parts of SB 2 were stopped, however, other parts of the bill could do some damage to local firearm retailers. Since some parts of SB 2 went into effect, Evans said local firearm retailers have struggled with meeting the new requirements set by the Department of Justice (DOJ) which requires CCW trainers to pay an increased amount of money to the DOJ to be certified rather than pay a lower price to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Evans said many places can’t afford the DOJ price and subsequently lose business – which he said he believes was the intent all along.
Although SB 2 was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of Santa Ana issued an injunction on Dec. 20 that blocked the ban on carrying guns in 26 public areas that were defined as “sensitive places.” On Dec. 30, a three-judge 9th Circuit panel reversed Carney’s decision which allowed SB 2 to take effect. One week later, however, the bill was struck down again. This means that for now, CCW holders in California can continue to carry their firearms in public spaces.
“As the author of SB 2, I am disheartened that the judge did not let the complete bill go into effect on January 1,” Senator Anthony J. Portantino said in an initial statement on Dec. 21. “The Governor, Attorney General and I worked collaboratively to draft SB 2 to enhance the public safety of Californians in direct response to and under the guidelines of the Supreme Court Bruen decision. I am optimistic that California will prevail on appeal to uphold the responsible and necessary law I authored.”
Governor Gavin Newsom also publicly expressed dismay with the judges’ decision to stop parts of the bill from becoming California law.
“Extremist judges have overturned CA’s gun law and are insisting that guns be allowed at our playgrounds, libraries, and hospitals,” Newsom said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Seriously. This is exactly why we need to pass a US Constitutional Amendment that will put in place common sense reforms like: Universal background checks – A ban on assault weapons – Raising the age to purchase a gun to 21.”
California Attorney General Rob Bonta appealed the court’s most recent decision and hopes the law will go back into effect after the appeal is considered in April.
“We believe the court got this wrong, and that SB 2 adheres to the guidelines set by the Supreme Court in Bruen, Bonta said on Dec. 20. “We will seek the opinion of the appellate court to make it right.”