IN MY ORBIT: 'Bruen' Has Strengthened California Gun Owners and Eroded California's Gun Control Policies

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Aside from awaiting the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, I have been on pins and needles about the decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Thanks to the Supreme Court‘s Thursday morning release of this decision, I need wait no longer.

This decision could not make me happier, not only for all law-abiding gun owners and advocates for our Second Amendment rights, but because I live in the second most restrictive state in the country that enjoys throwing hurdles in front of those who desire to conceal and carry.

Like New York, California’s conceal-carry law is “may issue.” Just like the circumstance of the petitioners in the Bruen case, jurisdictions in California place the burden of proof on the gun owner to show that they are legally and morally fit to conceal-carry, and the applicant must show “just cause” on why he or she needs to obtain a CCW. Dependent upon the jurisdiction, they can also come up with additional measures to restrict law-abiding citizens from obtaining a CCW license. Los Angeles County’s conceal-carry policies make it plain,

 “No Carrying a Concealed Weapon License (CCW) should be granted merely for the personal convenience of the applicant.”

According to Bruen that stance is no longer valid.


Governor “Hair Gel” Gavin Newsom wants to strengthen the already restrictive gun laws that do little to prevent gun violence. FBI records show California has had six active shooter incidents this past year, and actually lead the nation in this threat. Newsom also wants to be President of the United States. Now that Bruen is in place, we know that one of his wishes has suffered a mortal blow.

Yes, Yes, a thousand times, Yes!!!! I am here for it.

From The Los Angeles Times:

California’s gun laws are widely viewed as some of the strictest in the country by advocates on both sides of the gun-control debate. But a new Supreme Court ruling puts a number of those laws on shaky constitutional ground.

California imposes a similar requirement for obtaining a concealed-weapon license from the local police or sheriff’s department, along with a long list of restrictions on who can carry a gun and where it can be carried.

Some of those restrictions — for example, the one banning guns in state government offices — aren’t likely to be affected by the ruling, which says the government’s ability to ban guns in “sensitive places” is “settled” law. But other limits on carrying weapons outside the home could wind up in the legal crosshairs.

Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion for the Court’s 6-3 decision, stating,

The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 780 (plurality opinion). The exercise of other constitutional rights does not require individuals to demonstrate to government officers some special need. The Second Amendment right to carry arms in public for self-defense is no different.

So now, the state and County jurisdictions are required to show why a citizen wishing to exercise their right to bear arms (including outside their home) should be subject to the chutes and ladders of a CCW process. This doesn’t mean that concealed-carry requirements are going away any time soon. What it does mean is any court challenge to California CCW can be waged and won because of this Bruen decision. The NRA, Second Amendment Foundation, and other pro-2A advocates are already revising their legal arguments to incorporate Bruen.

Here’s why:

But what’s more significant than the ruling on concealed carry laws, Winkler states, is the updated standard the court prescribed for deciding future gun control cases. Up until this point, lower courts have been using interest-balancing tests in which judges weigh the goals of gun control measure against the burdens they may create.

On Thursday, however, the court clarified that “to justify [a] regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest. Rather, the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

This new “historical tradition” standard will jeopardize almost all of California’s gun control laws, Winkler believes.

This Bruen decision is also a firewall against the poisonous legislation that emits from California. California enacted a high-capacity magazine ban, which was reversed on appeal, before the 9th Circuit Circus overturned that decision. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took that feather from Newsom’s cap, and in their gun control package, she defined high capacity as “10 rounds.” Newsom is also seeking to hold gun manufacturers liable for deaths caused by their firearms. The hope is that the Bruen decision will blunt both of these end-runs around the Constitution, since they call into question whether these restrictions place an undue burden on the citizen’s exercise of their 2A rights.

Today is Clarence Thomas’ 74th birthday. But in faithfully interpreting the law as it applies to the Constitution, he has given California, and the rest of the nation, a priceless gift.


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