CA Lawmaker Wants To Overhaul State's Concealed Carry Law

A California assemblyman from the Needles area has introduced a bill that would allow localities to recognize concealed carry licenses from other states. The bill isn’t likely to go far in the Democrat-dominated state legislature, but Jay Obernolte says the legislation is important, particularly for California towns that border the Second Amendment-friendly of Arizona.

“This is a common sense proposal that gives local governments the authority to respect neighboring states concealed carry laws without hindering public safety,” said Assemblyman Obernolte. “Many bordering states recognize California CCW law and this bill would provide that same reciprocity. Ultimately, cities and counties should have the power to determine what is suitable for their residents.”

This isn’t the first time that politicians from the Needles area have stepped up to take on some of California’s draconian gun control laws. In fact, last summer officials in Needles declared the town a Second Amendment Sanctuary, hoping to spur changes to the state’s laws and allow for exceptions for border communities. It’s not just about ensuring that Arizona gun owners can shop and recreate in Needles without having to disarm themselves. Gun owners in Needles are forced to drive for hours to legally purchase ammunition, because under existing California law they’re not legally allowed to buy ammo in nearby Bullhead City, Arizona and then drive it across the border. Instead, they’re supposed to 140 miles in the opposite direction to the nearest California gun store in Barstow.

Even in California, this isn’t “common sense”, but nonsensical. Gang members and violent criminals aren’t going to go through background checks to purchase ammunition. They’ll steal it, they’ll get it through straw purchases, and they’ll create a brand new illicit market in ammunition trafficking from other states. Meanwhile, at least some folks are having to drive nearly 300 miles so they can exercise their right to keep and bear arms with an actual firearm, not an expensive metal club. I’m pretty sure others have decided to risk criminal prosecution by purchasing ammunition in other states. Through its sheer stupidity, the law is likely to turn otherwise law-abiding gun owners into criminals. Yet supporters of criminal justice reform like Governor Gavin Newsom would never argue against this law. In fact, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is actually defending this garbage law in court!

The garbage law is still being defended by Becerra in court, but in the meantime Assemblyman Obernolte is hoping that his bill AB2206 will at least get lawmakers in Sacramento talking about the damage their gun laws are having in many California communities.

I do disagree with Obernolte’s statement that local communities should decide for themselves what is “suitable” for their residents when it comes to the right to bear arms. It shouldn’t be up to any level of government to infringe on the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms, but unfortunately in California that’s exactly what’s happening. County sheriffs are already able to decide what residents are deserving of a concealed carry permit, and have broad discretion in denying anyone they don’t believe has demonstrated “good cause.” Obernolte’s bill attempts to use that local authority to bolster support for the Second Amendment, but ideally, no jurisdiction in the state would be able to negate someone’s right to keep and bear arms on a whim.