Californians Scramble to Get Carry Licenses Ahead of New Laws

AP Photo/David Goldman

With California’s latest gun control restrictions set to take effect on January 1, some residents are racing against the clock to apply for their carry permits. Once the new year rolls around, the process of issuing carry licenses is likely going to grind to a halt for some time… unless the courts step in and block the new laws from being enforced.


As part of the “emergency” rules issued by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, many firearms instructors will no longer be able to offer the training that’s required for a concealed carry application. Jake Belemjian with the Fresno gun store and range The Firing Line says he and his four instructors have been “overrun with phone calls” from people who are frantic to get into a class before they come to a screeching halt.

In two weeks his instructors will need new training to become a DOJ certified trainer.

“Starting January first you need a license to teach a class but the state’s not going to accept applications to become certified to teach this class to obtain that certificate until January first,” Belemjian said.

That delay creates a trickle-down effect for people renewing their permit or seeking one.

“This is gonna basically slam the brakes on anyone applying and depending on how long it takes to get his figured out, if your permit expires after January first you won’t be able to take a class to renew it,” Belemjian said.

No longer will NRA-certified firearms instructors be eligible to teach the course, at least not without first becoming certified by the state. That process isn’t going to be quick or easy once January 1 rolls around, and groups like the California Rifle & Pistol Association are warning that even when those CalDOJ certifications are handed out, limiting which instructors can provide training will add even more issues to a system “that already has a heavy load of too many students and not enough classes.”


The havoc caused by these new restrictions won’t be limited solely to those who want to apply for a license to carry. SB 2 also contains a large number of new “gun-free zones” across the state that are aimed at preventing lawful gun owners from exercising their right to bear arms.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux heads the California State Sheriff’s Association.

“The biggest issue that we’re finding with this particular bill is basically it says you can’t carry your gun anywhere. You can’t carry it in church, you can’t carry it in public places and so what is the purpose behind that,” Boudreaux said.”

Senator Anthony Portantino says his bill will increase public safety.  Sheriff Boudreaux believes it violates the Second Amendment.

“How is this going to by putting more restrictions on law-abiding citizens going to make us safer?” Boudreaux said.

“Frankly, I think it’s going to make us less safe.”

SB 2 will empower criminals and eviscerate the right of responsible citizens to protect themselves in public with a firearm, so yeah, I’m with the sheriff and his prediction.

The California Rifle & Pistol Association, along with the other named plaintiffs in May v. Bonta, are supposed to be in federal court tomorrow to argue in favor of an injunction that would block these new “sensitive places” from being enforced. There’s also a separate challenge taking on some of the licensing requirements as well, but a lawsuit taking on the “emergency” rules imposed by Bonta may have to wait until the regulations take effect in a couple of weeks before it’s ripe for judicial review, and in the meantime it’s going to be virtually impossible for many Californians to get the mandated instruction necessary to apply for their carry license. That not only makes Californians less safe, but even less free than they are at the moment.


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