Gov. Newsom backs bill to place limits on where people can carry a gun in public

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ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Newsom backs bill to place limits on where people can carry a gun
California Gov. Gavin Newsom backs SB2 to place limits on where people can carry a gun in public in wake of Half Moon Bay, Monterey Park shootings.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Following up on his calls for more gun reform following the mass shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday stood by Democratic lawmakers and gun control advocates to lend his support for SB2 -- a proposed bill to strengthen the state's restrictions on who can carry a firearm in public.

"We have more work to do," Governor Newsom said of gun control laws, "And this is part of this effort."

The measure - which was written by State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) - would restrict people under 21 from getting a concealed carry permit and also require all permit holders to have more training, including on how to safely handle, store and transport firearms.

VIDEO: How Democratic, Republican lawmakers plan to tackle CA gun violence in wake of mass shootings

After mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California lawmakers are introducing legislation to tackle gun violence.

Most notably, the bill would set limits on where people can carry a firearm. Lawmakers want to create so-called "sensitive sites" where, unless a private owner chose otherwise, guns would be off limits.

"Just as an example," Brady Campaign president Kris Brown said, "Playgrounds, amusement parks, bars, pre-schools, childcare facilities, all forms of public transportation, hospitals and care facilities, public events spaces, park and athletic areas open to the public, and more."

The bill says that if the owner of a private business or place of worship deemed a no-gun area did want to allow firearms, they would be allowed to make that decision. They would just be required to hang a sign on the premises that says concealed carry license holders are permitted to bring their firearm there. The sign would have to be a certain size and design designated by the Department of Justice.

The legislation is a direct response to the Supreme Court's ruling last year that loosened laws around who can obtain a concealed carry weapons permit, known as a CCW.

RELATED: SF is about to start issuing a lot more concealed carry permits; here's what that means

That decision by the court has led cities like San Francisco to begin processing dozens of new licenses that would never have been processed prior to the ruling.

California lawmakers attempted to pass the same legislation last year, however, it failed in the final hour.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said he's confident the new bill is constitutional.

"This is Bruen compliant," Bonta said, referring to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a concealed carry law in New York. "It is designed to comply with the Supreme Court's dictates and direction when it comes to concealed carry weapon regimes."

But gun rights groups are already preparing to take legal action.

"There are parts of it that may be constitutional, but overall I think it's going to get challenged and defeated in the courts," Rick Travis, the Legislative Director with the California Rifle and Pistol Association, told ABC7 News.

Travis said he also believes the measure unfairly targets law-abiding gun owners instead of criminals.

"It's targeting a group of people who own firearms that aren't the problem. and claiming that it's the problem," Travis said of SB2. "It would have done zero to stop the tragedies this past month because those were not committed by people carrying a concealed weapons permit ."

Newsom also said he expects a federal judge will overturn California's ban on assault weapons, potentially in the next few weeks.

Travis said he is anticipating that will happen as well, however, he pointed out that even if it does happen, it will almost certainly be challenged in court -- litigation that could take years.

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