California’s gun control law set to return to court; Yuba County Sheriff and others oppose it

Officials remain steadfast in their determination to permanently repeal a recently suspended gun control law in California. Despite its legality being questioned in the courts, these officials are unwavering in their commitment to see it overturned.

Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson expressed his concern about gun violence and the need to address it. However, he believes that the current approach is not the most appropriate solution.

Wendell is discussing Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), which was scheduled to go into effect on January 1 but was temporarily halted by a federal judge. SB 2 aims to prevent licensed concealed firearm holders (CCW) from carrying their firearms in various public settings, such as bars, places of worship, parks, public events, stadiums, casinos, financial institutions, medical facilities, and on public transportation. The bill also introduces stricter guidelines for issuing CCW permits.

According to Anderson, the focus is on the wrong people. He believes that they are trying to fix something that is not even broken.

The United States Court of Appeals is expected to review SB 2 in April 2024, and Wendell is hopeful that the courts will recognize the proposed law as a breach of Second Amendment rights.

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In my opinion, this is not constitutional. We will wait for the higher courts to rule. However, it is important to note that our CCW holders are law-abiding citizens. They are not the ones responsible for the gun violence happening on our streets.

Some local gun stores, which are licensed to train prospective customers for CCW permits, also oppose SB 2.

“People in our community who have held CCWs for over 25 years are being portrayed as bad guys,” expressed Junior Evans, an associate at Shooter’s Paradise gun range in Yuba City, owned by his father. He emphasized that these law-abiding citizens have never been involved in any negative incidents that make headlines. According to Junior, the motive behind these restrictions is not about ensuring safety but rather about financial gain.

Evans expressed his gratitude for the halt on certain provisions of SB 2. However, he highlighted the potential harm that other aspects of the bill could inflict on local firearm retailers. Since the implementation of some portions of SB 2, local firearm retailers have grappled with meeting the new requirements mandated by the Department of Justice (DOJ). These requirements oblige CCW trainers to pay a higher certification fee to the DOJ instead of a lower fee to the National Rifle Association (NRA). As a result, many establishments are unable to afford the DOJ price, leading to a loss of business. Evans strongly believes that this outcome was the intended consequence all along.

SB 2 was set to take effect on Jan. 1, but U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of Santa Ana intervened on Dec. 20 by issuing an injunction that halted the prohibition on carrying firearms in 26 designated “sensitive places.” Nonetheless, on Dec. 30, a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit overturned Carney’s ruling, allowing SB 2 to proceed. However, just a week later, the bill was once again invalidated. As a result, CCW holders in California can still carry their firearms in public areas, at least for now.

Senator Anthony J. Portantino expressed his disappointment with the judge’s decision to not allow the complete bill to go into effect on January 1. In an initial statement on December 21, he stated, “As the author of SB 2, I am disheartened that the judge did not let the complete bill go into effect on January 1.” Senator Portantino emphasized that SB 2 was drafted collaboratively with the Governor and Attorney General to enhance public safety in response to the Supreme Court Bruen decision. Despite the setback, he remains optimistic that California will prevail on appeal and uphold the responsible and necessary law he authored.

Governor Gavin Newsom expressed his disappointment with the judges’ decision to halt certain aspects of the bill from taking effect in California.

“Extremist judges are overturning California’s gun law and demanding that guns be permitted at our playgrounds, libraries, and hospitals,” Newsom expressed on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This is precisely why we must enact a US Constitutional Amendment to implement sensible reforms such as universal background checks, a prohibition on assault weapons, and raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta is optimistic about the future of the law and has appealed the court’s recent decision. He is confident that the law will be reinstated after the appeal is reviewed in April.

“We strongly disagree with the court’s decision and firmly believe that SB 2 aligns with the Supreme Court’s guidelines as established in the Bruen case,” Bonta expressed on December 20. “We will appeal to the higher court to rectify this misunderstanding.”

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