Attempt to bolster California’s concealed-carry gun law fails

A proposal to strengthen California’s concealed carry law in response to a Supreme Court decision expanding the right to carry firearms in public fell through Tuesday’s assembly, despite support from Gov. Gavin Newsom and other Democratic leaders.

But the bill isn’t dead yet.

In a so-called review, lawmakers can vote again on the bill on Wednesday, the last day of the legislative session and the last chance for state legislators to act on legislation and send it to the governor.

Newsom worked with State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) and prosecutor. General Rob Bonta has spent months this year responding to Senate Bill 918, a contingency plan to uphold a robust concealed carry law in California, after the Supreme Court found in June that certain restrictions violated the 2nd Amendment.

Portantino added an emergency clause to the bill, meaning it would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of the legislature. The Assembly fell two votes short of that threshold by a vote of 52 to 19. Several moderate Democrats either abstained or voted against.

“I’m disappointed but optimistic that we’ll get the votes for SB 918. This is too important an issue for California to ignore. We must act now to protect our communities,” Portantino said in a statement after the vote.

The conservative majority of the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. vs. Bruen case that so-called concealed carry laws, which give local officials broad powers to issue a license, violate a person’s right to self-defense outside the home.

That decision rendered California’s requirement that applicants have “good cause” to obtain a permit “probably unconstitutional,” Bonta announced after the decision.

But the judges offered small windows of opportunity to uphold certain regulations, such as banning firearms from a “sensitive locations” list and requiring officials to have objective approval criteria to use when reviewing applications, including background checks, firearms training and fingerprinting .

Senate Bill 918 would classify dozens of banned places as sensitive, including schools, government buildings, playgrounds, airports, public transportation and bars. It would also replace the previous good cause requirement with criteria to verify that an individual ‘qualifies’ for approval.

Licensing officers, namely the sheriff’s departments, would have to conduct face-to-face interviews with applicants and at least three character witnesses, and could review social media posts or other publicly available statements made by the person to determine whether they posed a danger to themselves or others. Attempt to bolster California’s concealed-carry gun law fails

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