Judge Temporarily Blocks Strict California Gun Law, Rules Unconstitutional

A federal judge blocked a California law Wednesday that would have banned carrying firearms in most public places, ruling that it violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The law, which was signed in September by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), was supposed to take effect January 1, 2024, and would have prevented even those with a permit from carrying concealed guns in 26 places, including public parks, playgrounds, and churches.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of the Central District of California stopped the new law from taking effect with a temporary restraining order.

“The right to self-defense and to defend one’s family is fundamental and inherent to our very humanity irrespective of any formal codification,” Carney wrote in his ruling.

Disappointed with the ruling, Newsom said in a statement Wednesday evening that he will continue to push for stricter gun measures.

“Defying common sense, this ruling outrageously calls California’s data-backed gun safety efforts ‘repugnant,’” he said. “What is repugnant is this ruling, which greenlights the proliferation of guns in our hospitals, libraries, and children’s playgrounds — spaces, which should be safe for all.”

The California Rifle and Pistol Association sued to block the law from taking effect, citing that it was unconstitutional.

“California progressive politicians refuse to accept the Supreme Court’s mandate from the Bruen case and are trying every creative ploy they can imagine to get around it,” the California Rifle and Pistol Association president, Chuck Michel, said in a statement. “The Court saw through the State’s gambit.”

Michel stated that gun permit holders would be breaking the law because no matter where they traveled to, they would eventually have to pass into a prohibited area. He also stated that the ruling would make Californians feel safer because criminals would be deterred when law-abiding citizens can defend themselves.

While this is a win for gun rights advocates such as the California Rifle and Pistol Association, State Attorney General Rob Bonta said that his office will appeal the decision. He believes that it “would endanger communities by allowing guns in places where families and children gather” if the law is allowed to stand.

Judge Carney is a former Orange County Superior Court judge appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2003.