2A activists take aim at California gun control laws

A “Second Amendment reckoning” is coming for California’s gun-hating politicians, according to activist and attorney Chuck Michel, who heads up the California Rifle & Pistol Association and, along with fellow attorney and 2A scholar Stephen Halbrook, is one of the founders of the Second Amendment Law Center. Michel joins Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co today to talk about the immediate impact that last Thursday’s decision in NYSPRA v. Bruen will have on the right to carry in California, as well as the top legal priorities for challenging some of the hundreds of gun control laws that are on the books in the Golden State.

As we wrote about Monday morning, California Attorney General Rob Bonta is now encouraging licensing authorities in the state to strictly enforce the state’s “good moral character” clause for carry licenses, citing broad language used by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office that allows the sheriff to “include consideration of honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, reliability, respect for the law, integrity, candor, discretion, observance of fiduciary duty, respect for the rights of others, absence of hatred and racism, fiscal stability, profession-specific criteria such as pledging to honor the constitution and uphold the law, and the absence of criminal conviction” to determine whether or not someone has the character necessary to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms in self-defense.

Michel says he and his team are already in contact with the Riverside County sheriff to talk about changing or even removing this language, but he adds that he fully expects several of the most restrictive counties in the state to follow suit, and CRPA is prepared to challenge the constitutionality of the clause itself if need be.

Beyond the additional litigation on the right to carry, however, Michel says that the Supreme Court’s decision is bad news for several draconian gun laws in the state.

Michel said the standard will affect three prominent California laws. Legal challenges to the state’s limits on assault weapons, its requirement for background checks for buying ammunition and its ban on online ammunition sales are pending before a federal appellate court.

“All of these laws should be struck down under this new Supreme Court standard,” he said.

The Supreme Court also is considering whether to take up California’s law banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, as well as a similar law in New Jersey. He expects the court may consider those laws under the new standard.

Michel told me today that he actually expects the Court to accept the magazine ban case currently pending in conference, but will likely remand the case back down to the lower courts for review under the “text, history, and tradition” test laid out by Justice Thomas in the Bruen decision. There are also several other challenges that are currently pending in the Ninth Circuit, including Rhode v. Bonta, which is the lawsuit taking on the state’s mandate for background checks on all ammo sales, as well as a ban on online or out-of-state ammunition purchases.

“The CRPA and my law firm are working together. We’re already getting ready to challenge a couple of the ‘sensitive places’ laws in California, we’re gearing up to fight the ‘moral character’ challenge. CRPA is calling it the ‘Second Amendment Reckoning Campaign’, and that’s what this is,” Michel declared.

“California gun owners have had pointless, punishing, bureaucratic red-tape, excessive gun control laws basically shoved down our throats. They haven’t saved one life, but they’ve made a helluva lot of good people into accidental criminals because these laws are now so byzantine and complicated that my book [on California gun control laws] is now 600 pages long.”

Hopefully the next edition of Michel’s book will be a little shorter, but in order for that to happen gun owners have to stay engaged and active, and most importantly, support the groups like CRPA that will be taking the fight to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the other anti-civil rights politicians intent on ignoring and infringing on our right to keep and bear arms.

Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Chuck Michel in the video window above, and stay tuned for the gun control lobby’s next steps in California, which could come as early as tomorrow when lawmakers are set to begin revising the existing concealed carry statute to include a host of new restrictions that were not explicitly outlawed by SCOTUS.