California isn’t where gun control goes to die, but is instead where it’s born to infest the rest of the nation. They love them some gun control and are one of six states with “may issue” permitting. That’s the same permitting scheme that was just smacked down in the Bruen decision.
So, it’s not overly surprising to see some in the media there expressing some…concern over what happens now.
In its first significant Second Amendment case in over a decade, the United States Supreme Court struck down New York’s rules for obtaining a permit to carry a firearm in public.
The ruling will have significant impacts in California beyond only concealed carry laws, UCLA law professor Adam Winkler told SFGATE.
“It’s fair to say this ruling will have its biggest effects in states like California with more restrictive gun laws,” said Winkler, who is the author of “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America.” “This is the beginning of a period where we’ll see a wide variety of California gun laws called into question, if not struck down entirely.”
While the Thursday opinion does not directly wipe out concealed carry restrictions in California, challenges to such laws are now likely to succeed in court. In California, concealed carry permits are granted by local law enforcement agencies (some of which are quite restrictive), so expect a dramatic increase in permits granted in large cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
But what’s more significant than the ruling on concealed carry laws, Winkler states, is the updated standard the court prescribed for deciding future gun control cases. Up until this point, lower courts have been using interest-balancing tests in which judges weigh the goals of gun control measure against the burdens they may create.
On Thursday, however, the court clarified that “to justify [a] regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest. Rather, the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
This new “historical tradition” standard will jeopardize almost all of California’s gun control laws, Winkler believes.
Of course, based on Winkler’s Twitter feed, I’d say he sees this as a bad thing.
Frankly, though, he is right. The “historical tradition” standard will, in fact, create a huge issue for gun control in general. There are exceptions, at least based on my reading of Bruen, but not nearly as many as anti-gunners might like.
That’s especially true in California, where they have restrictions on things like “assault rifles,” magazine restrictions, and ammo control, none of which are remotely resembling anything we see historically.
So yeah, California is going to be finding itself in a tough spot. Just not immediately.
Bruen is a pretty good decision and Justice Clarence Thomas knocked it out of the park–I haven’t finished the entire 135 pages of the decision just yet, but I’m digging what I’ve read so far–but it doesn’t overturn all of those laws immediately.
Instead, it provides instruction on how Second Amendment cases are to be considered. That means each law will need to be challenged individually.
It also requires the judges who hear those cases to actually follow the Supreme Court’s instructions.
The Court can’t hear every case that comes up, so it needs the lower courts to do their job correctly. As we’ve seen since Heller, that’s not always going to happen.
However, if things go as they should, the Court will only need to step in on those particular cases.
So yeah, the media in California has a reason to be concerned. So does the anti-gun media throughout the nation.
Just don’t expect those concerns to be born out overnight.