The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the weekend reversed an earlier order which put a hold on a lower court ruling that blocked California’s new law prohibiting concealed carry in most public places.
The law, known as SB2, prohibits licensed carry in so-called “sensitive places.” U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney granted a preliminary injunction against the law in December, the state quickly sought a stay from the 9th Circuit, which was initially granted. But over the weekend, a merits panel on the court reversed and dissolved the stay, so the law is once again blocked, pending an April hearing.
This is a significant victory to gun rights groups including the Second Amendment Foundation and California Rifle & Pistol Association.
In his 43-page ruling, handed down Dec. 20, Judge Carney wrote, “SB2’s coverage is sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment, and openly defiant of the Supreme Court.”
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the process has been “whiplash.” The newspaper recalled the 9th Circuit Court initially granted a stay of Judge Carney’s ruling on Dec. 30, and referred the case to the 9th Circuit’s “merit panel.” It was that panel which reversed the stay and allowed the preliminary injunction to take effect.
Joining SAF in its case are Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of California, Liberal Gun Owners Association, the California Rifle & Pistol Association and eleven private citizens. They are represented by attorneys C.D. Michel, Sean A. Brady and Konstadinos T. Moros at Michel & Associates in Long Beach, and Donald Kilmer, Law Offices of Don Kilmer, Caldwell, Idaho. The case is known as May v. Bonta.
The order also covers a separate case known as Carralero v. Bonta.
“This is a major win for California gun owners and the Second Amendment,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “It is a definite wake-up call to anti-gun Gov. Gavin Newsom and his Democrat colleagues in the California legislature who pushed through the ‘sensitive places’ law as a way of thumbing their nose at the Supreme Court, as well as the Constitution.”
The “sensitive places” law was California’s response to the 2022 Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which established new parameters on handling and deciding Second Amendment cases.
As might be expected, Gov. Newsom, who has backed SB2 from its inception, was not pleased with the new court ruling. Fox News quoted a statement issued by his office asserting, “This dangerous decision puts the lives of Californians on the line. We won’t stop working to defend our decades of progress on gun safety in our state.”
Newsom’s office said the state will appeal, again.