California Appeals Court Blocks Recent Law Prohibiting Guns in Most Public Spaces

SACRAMENTO, California – A recent California law restricting the possession of firearms in public spaces faced a setback after a U.S. appeals court issued a ruling against it. The law, signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2023, had been in effect for only five days since Jan. 1 before being halted by the court. This law was first blocked last month after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney issued a temporary injunction, deeming it a violation of the Second Amendment.

Carney’s ruling was subsequently paused by a panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 30, but was dissolved on Saturday, reinstating the district judge’s ruling blocking the law. The arguments in the case are set to be heard in April.

The new state law prohibits people from carrying concealed guns in 26 categories of locations, including hospitals, playgrounds, public transportation, stadiums, amusement parks, and museums, regardless of whether an individual possesses a concealed carry permit. Gun rights organizations, including the California Rifle and Pistol Association, have been opposing the law.

California is known for having tough gun laws, with its gun laws being ranked the strongest in the nation by the gun-control advocacy group Giffords. This recent law was part of several gun control measures that were implemented by Governor Newsom, including the implementation of microstamping on gun cartridges to aid in crime tracing, and allocating funds from bullet sales toward enhancing gun violence intervention programs and school safety.

The U.S. has the highest rate of gun deaths among wealthy countries, with nearly 43,000 people dying from gun violence in 2023 according to the Gun Violence Archive. The appeals court’s decision will have significant implications, setting the stage for a deeper examination of the constitutionality of the law.