CALIFORNIA (KTXL) – Attorney General Rob Bonta talks about the potential effects in California following a Supreme Court ruling that limits the state’s ability to limit the use of concealed weapons.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday overturned New York State law, which restricted who can obtain a permit to carry a weapon in public. Under a law in force since 1913, New Yorkers had to prove an appropriate reason or actual need to carry a hidden self-defense gun in public.
Judges said the law violates the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. He was quickly responded to by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who described the decision as reckless and said she was ready to call legislation back to the session to formulate a response.
“We don’t need people entering our subways, our restaurants and cinemas with hidden weapons,” she said. “We don’t need any more weapons on our streets.”
New York and half a dozen other countries with similar laws now have to decide on their next steps. As in New York, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, all have Democrat-controlled legislatures that could propose measures to ensure that weapons are not allowed in certain places.
Arms rights groups in those countries have vowed to continue to oppose what they see as a restrictive gun control law. Some of these cases could eventually come to the state’s higher court. Review of similar laws in other countries, response to the Supreme Court ruling and what could happen next:
The court’s ruling is likely to affect California’s strict licensing laws, the California Attorney General and gun owners’ rights organizations said.
Attorney General Rob Bonta told California law enforcement in a letter earlier this month that “given a similar standard of ‘good reason’ in California, the decision could affect California laws regarding the carrying of firearms in public places.” He said many aspects of California law could remain intact despite the ruling.
Nearly two-thirds of California’s 58 counties have already simplified their standards for issuing concealed weapons licenses after a panel of three judges from the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals repealed the state standard for concealed carry in 2014, said attorney Chuck Michel, president of the California Federation. Rifle and Pistol Association.
They maintained a more permissible standard even after a major appeals commission overturned the decision two years later, said Michel, who wrote a book on California’s strict gun laws.
It is a standard used by local officials – usually sheriffs and sometimes police chiefs – when considering who should be allowed to carry concealed weapons outside the house. Proponents of gun rights say the court overturning New York law means California must join 43 states that have standards that apply to the “shall issue.” These generally require officials to issue permits unless there is some reason why an individual should be denied.
Of California’s 58 counties, 37 have already issued permits if the applicant requests it for self-defense. Because of this, they are actually “betraying” the districts, advocates said. The remaining 21 districts have stricter standards, such as requiring applicants to demonstrate that they have business or professional risks that justify being armed.
“The Supreme Court decision not only confirms that laws prohibiting licensed public concealed carrying of firearms for self-defense violate the constitution, but also that courts use the wrong approach to assessing the constitutionality of gun control laws,” Michel said.
Michel’s organization plans to send legal notifications to 21 counties immediately that they need to ease their standards, according to a Supreme Court ruling. He also intends to ask the 9th District to rule on his latest legal challenge to the California standard of “good reason,” a decision pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the New York case.
Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said his organization expects to sue California quickly to force it to adopt the standard set in the New York decision, and to sue local jurisdictions if they do not accept decisions of the High Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.