What Happens Next in California Carry Lawsuits

California concealed carry holders are breathing a little easier today thanks to the Ninth Circuit’s decision over the weekend allowing U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney’s injunction that blocks enforcement of a plethora of newly imposed “gun-free zones” to take effect. On today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co, attorney Kostas Moros, who’s one of the lead attorneys in May v. Bonta, says it’s possible that California Attorney General Rob Bonta will request an en banc review of the decision by a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit, but believes it’s unlikely that the appellate court would grant that review or overturn the panel’s decision in light of the expedited schedule the panel has set going forward.


If Moros is right, that means those new “gun-free zones” will be on hold at least until April, which is great news for the tens of thousands of Californians who possess a valid concealed carry permit. Under SB 2, most publicly accessible places in the state were off-limits to lawful carry beginning on January 1st, but Moros says the injunction now returns the state to the status quo that existed on December 31st. Unfortunately, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Rob Bonta are spinning a narrative to the contrary, and many media outlets are presenting their spin as fact without hestitation.

For a state with as many gun laws as California has, it’s somewhat surprising that there weren’t that many prohibited places in the Golden State, but lawmakers had previously relied on the state’s “may issue” laws to stop most people from obtaining a carry license to begin with. Only after the Supreme Court declared that states couldn’t limit carry solely to those with a documented “justifiable need” or “good cause” did California Democrats rush to limit where those folks could bear arms in self-defense. SB 2 is an act of defiance to the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen, and as Carney declared when granting the request for an injunction, the challenged provisions are repugnant to our right to keep and bear arms.


Relief may also be on the way for those Californians (and non-residents) who would like to apply for a license but are unable to do so because of the barriers the state has put in place, along with those applicants who’ve been twiddling their thumbs for months while they wait for the issuing authorities to approve or deny their applications. Moros tells Bearing Arms that a request for an injunction in California Rifle & Pistol Association v. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department should be filed within a week or two, and he’s hoping to have a formal hearing on the request sometime in February or early March.

Even though I’m not a regular user of social media these days, I’ve been a fan of Kostas’s X/Twitter feed for some time now, and I thoroughly enjoyed today’s conversation, which ranged from the latest news out of California to the abuse of the Bruen test that we’ve seen in some jurisdictions. I was also fascinated to hear how and why Moros went from a law school student who wrote about why bans on “assault weapons” are presumptively constitutional to an attorney who believes modern-day gun bans are incompatible with the nation’s history and tradition of gun ownership. I’m looking forward to welcoming Kostas Moros back to the show in the near future, and I encourage you to check out today’s discussion in the video window below.


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