First published in the Feb. 4 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Attorney General Rob Bonta and state Sen. Anthony Portantino discussed gun safety efforts and legislation that strengthens California’s conceal-carry laws during a press conference Wednesday.
Senate Bill 2, authored by Portantino, will implement significant improvements to California’s existing conceal-carry weapon laws to address the recent Supreme Court decision in New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. Newsom and Bonta, along with 11 other leaders, are sponsors of the bill.
“In the wake of the recent tragedies in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay and the continued threat of mass shootings, it’s critical that California leads on the issue of gun safety and reform,” Portantino said.
“I am proud to be working with Gov. Newsom, Attorney General Bonta and activists on SB 2 to strengthen our existing concealed carry laws and ensure every Californian is safe from gun violence. We must be diligent in addressing the gun violence epidemic in our country and concealed carry laws are a key component of this,” he added.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled in Bruen that licensing schemes requiring an applicant for a concealed carry license to show good cause to carry firearms are unconstitutional. SB 918, authored by Portantino last year, was California’s legislative response to the court’s ruling. The legislation did not pass.
This year, the senator and his colleagues in the Legislature introduced SB 2 to continue efforts to strengthen concealed carry laws in California and make communities safer.
“Only in America do we see the kind of carnage and chaos of gun violence that destroys our communities and our sense of safety and belonging,” Newsom said. “America is No. 1 in gun ownership, and we far surpass every developed nation on Earth in gun deaths — it’s not complicated.
“In California, we’ve passed common sense gun safety laws and they work: We have a 37% lower gun death rate than the national average,” he added. “We’re doubling down on gun safety and strengthening our public carry law to protect it from radical Republican attacks.”
Bonta added: “The mass shooting incidents we have seen over recent weeks bring to light the need for stronger protections for our communities. The fact is individuals who are not law-abiding, responsible citizens simply shouldn’t possess firearms — and they especially shouldn’t be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public. When a gun is placed in the wrong hands, it is deadly. … We can’t afford to wait even one minute more.”
Specifically, SB 2 strengthens the state law by:
- Ensuring those carrying firearms in public are responsible, law-abiding citizens who do not pose a danger to themselves or others;
- Protecting children and young adults from gun violence by setting a minimum age requirement of 21 years of age to obtain a CCW license;
- Advancing safety through stronger storage and training requirements on the proper handling, loading, unloading and storage of firearms; limiting all CCW licensees to carrying no more than two firearms at any given time in public; and
- Safeguarding the public by identifying certain sensitive public places where guns may not be carried.