San Benito County Sheriff Eric S. Taylor strongly opposes California Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), asserting that it poses a significant threat to the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. He also expresses doubt regarding the effectiveness of the legislation in tackling gun violence.
Residents of the state were once again barred from carrying guns in most public spaces, as the law prohibiting it was blocked from taking effect.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a previous ruling that would have permitted the law to be enforced temporarily in 2024.
San Benito County Sheriff Taylor confidently declared that he firmly believes SB 2 to be unconstitutional. He asserts that the law, which restricts concealed carry permit holders from possessing their legally-owned firearms in a broader range of “sensitive places,” will ultimately be struck down by the courts for violating the Second Amendment.
The Sheriff emphasized the recent legal updates pertaining to SB 2, stating that “On December 21, 2023, the courts granted a preliminary injunction on the section of SB 2 regarding ‘sensitive areas.'” Additionally, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision on Saturday, December 30th.
The appeals court has temporarily halted the implementation of the sensitive areas provision of the bill through a suspension of the December 20th injunction. However, the 9th Circuit overturned this suspension on January 6th, allowing the injunction to take effect once again.
Sheriff Taylor voiced his concern regarding the emphasis of SB 2, stating that gun violence is undeniably a significant issue in California and the nation as a whole. However, he pointed out that statistics clearly indicate that law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits are not the ones responsible for gun-related crimes. Despite this, SB 2 seems to primarily target these law-abiding individuals, stripping them of their legal right to carry firearms for self-protection, instead of focusing on holding accountable those who use firearms to commit crimes.
“If our legislature genuinely wants to save lives, they should focus on addressing the criminals who commit violent crimes and the underlying mental health issues that drive individuals to become mass murderers,” he emphasized.
Sheriff Taylor emphasized that the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to thoroughly assessing each situation individually. This approach ensures that decisions are made in the best interest of justice and the community.
“We understand the difficulties that our rural county faces with limited resources,” he acknowledged. “Our focus will be on directing our efforts to the areas that need them the most.”
Sheriff Taylor concluded by expressing his firm stance, stating, “We are not interested in criminalizing behavior that is protected by the constitution. This matter is still far from being resolved, and we remain hopeful that the courts will ultimately rule in favor of our constitution.”