California has taken action this year that has left many staunch advocates of the Second Amendment feeling alarmed and betrayed, even by the leftist standards of the Golden State. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed off on 23 anti-gun bills, undermining the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
One of the new laws, SB 2, colloquially known as the state’s second “Bruen Response Bill,” spearheaded by State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D), raises serious concerns regarding individual freedoms and self-defense rights. This legislation imposes restrictions on carrying firearms and places immense regulatory burdens on citizens who apply to acquire concealed carry permits.
Again – as a courtesy, the NRA has condensed California Gov. @GavinNewsom's gun-control press conference down to 30 seconds for you.
Two things are clear: he's hell-bent on dismantling the Second Amendment, and he HATES the NRA's SCOTUS victory in NYSRPA v. Bruen. pic.twitter.com/YEohRJRyC2
— NRA (@NRA) September 27, 2023
It delineates more than two dozen “sensitive places,” such as schools and parks, where concealed firearms are prohibited. Commercial businesses would also become automatic gun-free zones unless stated otherwise by the owner. These measures, allegedly aiming at reducing gun crimes, leave citizens vulnerable, stripping them of their inherent right to defend themselves.
Another of the new bills, AB 28, introduces an 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition sales, effectively raising the cost for consumers while exempting law enforcement. The funds procured from this additional burden are supposed to funnel into public schools and youth and gang prevention programs. However, the application of these funds beyond the initial $125 million lacks clarity and mandatory allocation, sparking skepticism about the actual implementation and benefits of the revenue generated.
Governor Newsom Signs Multiple Anti-Gun Bills Into Law, Including California's 'Bruen Response Bill' https://t.co/vRaRwi6qWs.. I thought in California you had to have people vote on a public tax. That’s why the legislature went to the fee BS.
— Dave winters (@vpdwinters) September 27, 2023
Additionally, SB 452 mandates technology that imprints the firearm’s serial number on every shell casing when fired in any semi-automatic pistol sold in the state after January 1, 2028. This bill mirrors a similar state law dating back to 2007.
The sentiments expressed by Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), resonate with many: “These laws will not make us safer. They are an unconstitutional retaliatory and vindictive response to the Supreme Court’s affirmation that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a firearm for sport or to defend your family.”
While the overarching narrative surrounding these laws is the prevention of gun violence, California paradoxically leads the nation in mass shootings, a fact often overshadowed by the rhetoric of safety and reduction in gun crimes.
The series of new California laws is more than a narrative about gun control — it reflects a deeper ideological conflict about the essence and execution of constitutional rights, individual freedoms, and the role of government in people’s lives.