California Faces Legal Challenges After Imposing Dozens Of Gun Control Measures
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Pro-gun owner groups immediately served a lawsuit to California officials after Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom signed nearly two dozen anti-gun laws on Tuesday — which were designed to control concealed-carry rules and impose a new tax on firearm and ammunition sales.

“This is just the latest assault on our rights in California,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America (GOA), told The Daily Wire in an emailed statement. “Just as concerning, Governor Gavin Newsom has already made his anti-gun intentions quite clear: he wants to effectively repeal the Second Amendment. Sadly, his acknowledgment that doing so would be the only way to enact more gun control did not dissuade him from violating his oath when he signed this law into effect, but we are fully prepared to fight back.”

Pratt and the GOA teamed up with Gun Owners of California (GOC) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) to challenge one of the 23 laws signed by Newsom this week, which stem from Newsom’s effort to maintain his image as one of the nation’s gun control leaders.

The law — SB 2 — requires gun owners to undergo more training hours, increase costs associated with permits, and prohibit concealed carrying in areas deemed “sensitive places,” including all private commercial property unless expressly permitted by the owner. Other detailed provisions include requiring gun licensing authorities to conduct in-person interviews with applicants, review character references, and social media activity and other public statements to decide if the person poses a risk to public safety.

“While radical judges continue to strip away our ability to keep people safe, California will keep fighting — because gun safety laws work,” Newsom said in a news release, which details the new laws and touts California’s gun death rate that 2021 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked as 43rd out of 50 states with 9 deaths for every 100,000 people.

But according to the gun activist groups, the measure is “unconstitutional” and they have stated they would explicitly go after the “sensitive places” provision of the law.

“SB 2 creates a patchwork quilt of locations where Second Amendment rights may and may not be exercised, thus making exercise of the right so impractical and legally risky in practice that ordinary citizens will be deterred from even attempting to exercise their rights in the first place,” the legal filing reads.

Sam Paredes, on behalf of the board for GOF and in his role as the executive director of Gun Owners of California, told The Daily Wire in an emailed statement, “Pro-gun groups in California have had success when pushing back on legislation like this – just look at our victory last week against the state’s magazine ban.”

“And just like in that case, we are confident SB 2 will be overturned,” Paredes added. “I’ve been warning governors and legislatures across the country since the Bruen decision that these ‘response bills’ will not stand, but unfortunately, many have still been pushed through. That won’t stop us however – states should fall in line, or we will make them.”

The California Rifle and Pistol Association also filed a lawsuit to stop the law, which derived from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen that deemed longtime restrictions New York placed on carrying concealed firearms violates Americans’ Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

“These laws will not make us safer,” Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, told The Associated Press. “They are an unconstitutional retaliatory and vindictive response to the Supreme Court’s affirmation that the Second Amendment protects an individuals’ right to choose to own a firearm for sport or to defend your family. They are being challenged, and the second they are signed, the clock starts ticking towards a judgment striking them down.”

Most of the new gun laws Californians face stem from Newsom’s effort to maintain his image as one of the nation’s gun control leaders. However, SB 2 and another measure stood out among gun owner groups.

Gun and ammunition sales taxes imposed by the federal government already take 10% or 11%, depending on the type of gun. But under California’s AB 28 law, the state adds another 11% tax on firearms and ammunition sold by manufacturers and dealers to generate $160 million annually to fund school safety and prevention programs.

The California Rifle & Pistol Assn. reportedly wrote in opposition to AB 28, saying the law would “unjustifiably place the entire burden of funding efforts to address illegal gun violence on the backs of law-abiding citizens who legally purchase and lawfully use firearms and ammunition.”

Other opponents of the measure reportedly argued it would dissuade low-income communities from hunting and shooting sports as it would become unaffordable for lawful gun owners to bear the tax burden.

Newsom reportedly acknowledged the new measures would likely fail legal challenges already filed against the state.

“It may mean nothing if the federal courts are throwing them out,” Newsom said, according to The Associated Press. “We feel very strongly that these bills meet the (new standard), and they were drafted accordingly. But I’m not naive about the recklessness of the federal courts and the ideological agenda.”

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