By: José Niño

On September 26, 2023, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed Senate Bill 2, legislation that imposed concealed carry restrictions on “sensitive locations” where concealed carry would be banned.

Additionally, the bill has a 16-hour training requirement for prospective carry holders and sharply increases the costs connected to obtaining a carry permit for California residents.

However, this newly signed law met immediate resistance from Gun Owners of America (GOA) and its legal arm, the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF).

The very day that this bill was signed into law GOA and GOF banded together with Gun Owners of California (GOC) to serve California Attorney General Rob Bonta a lawsuit contesting several parts of SB 2. This legislation was passed as a response to the United States Supreme Court’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen decision made in the summer of 2022.

Multiple states that are hostile to the Second Amendment have passed similar unconstitutional gun control measures as a response to the Bruen decision. GOA and GOF have also joined in lawsuits against these measures.

Erich Pratt, GOA’s senior vice president, offered his take about the California lawsuit that the no-compromise gun organization is involved in:

“This is just the latest assault on our rights in California. 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.” 

Sam Paredes, the treasurer of GOF and the executive director of Gun Owners of California, also shared his thoughts about GOA’s latest litigation efforts:

“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. 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.”

California is one of the US’s most anti-gun states. It’s ranked in 48th place according to Guns & Ammo magazine’s “Best States for Gun Owners” rankings. With anti-gun Democrats in firm control of the state’s political system, it’s virtually impossible for gun owners to pass pro-gun reforms via conventional legislative means.

Out of sheer pragmaticism, going to the courts is the only option for pro-gun forces to roll back gun control and perhaps restore some Second Amendment freedoms that have previously been lost. Those are the stark realities of doing political activism in blue states. Hopefully, pro-gun organizations quickly pick up on this trend and act accordingly.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.