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  • Writer's pictureBlair Goss

Concealed Weapons Law in California | Changes in Gun Regulations!

Previously, Californians had the right to carry concealed weapons if they had a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license. The local agencies had broad discretion in issuing CCW licenses, with each application requiring a "good cause" to qualify for these permits.


In January 2024, a new law signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom came into effect. It prohibits Californians from carrying concealed guns in most public spaces, including amusement parks, museums, and public parks. However, on January 6, 2024, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals once again blocked the legislation.


With the involvement of different courts, there have been a lot of changes happening in the legal landscape. Californians need to stay up-to-date with the latest gun laws so that they can avoid trouble with the local authorities.


Goss Law and its Sacramento gun crime lawyers have protected the rights of many Californians by representing them in court and fighting aggressively to avoid a sentence or have it reduced. They are experts in criminal defense law and can help navigate the offenses and legal process.


Those facing criminal charges due to a gun law violation in Sacramento, California, must contact the experienced team at Goss Law to discuss their case and learn more about their rights. They are able to answer questions like Can a DWI hurt your gun rights in California?


Where Can Californians Carry Guns in Public in California?

Where Can Californians Carry Guns in Public in California?


When the new concealed weapons law in California went into effect on January 1, 2024, there was a lot of confusion over whether or not people with concealed carry permits could carry guns in public.


Under the law signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, there are 26 different places that are considered sensitive places where Californians cannot carry guns even if they have concealed carry permits. These include playgrounds, amusement parks, and museums, among others.


While a ban against carrying guns in sensitive places might seem like a good move, it caused outrage among Californians, as the 26 different places mentioned under the law essentially cover most of the public spots. This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to carry a gun anywhere, even if they hold a valid license.


Is the New California Gun Law in Effect?


The new California law is not in effect as of February 2, 2024, and there is a lot of confusion behind its implementation. Here is a quick breakdown of the timeline and the decisions by the different courts.


US District Judge Places a Hold on the Newly Drafted Gun Laws

With the 2024 elections just around the corner, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has positioned himself as a leader who prefers gun control and the need for stricter regulations.


On December 20, 2023, US District Judge Cormac Carney placed a hold on the newly drafted gun laws, stating that they violated the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, depriving people of their abilities and rights to defend themselves.


Federal Appeals Court Steps in and Places a Hold

On December 23, 2023, a federal appeals court placed a hold on the US District Judge's ruling, allowing the law to go into effect while the legal battle continues in court. 


Newsom praised this decision on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the appeals court acted on Saturday. He called the ruling by US District Judge Cormac Carney a dangerous one and stated that public places must always be safe and free from guns.


In response to Gavin Newsom's post, the California Rifle and Pistol Association decided to sue to block the law from going into effect. The association's president, Chuck Michel, argued that the legislation would make it impossible for concealed carry permit holders to move from one part of the state to another without violating the law.


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds the 20th December Ruling

In January 2024, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sprung into action and dissolved the temporary hold on an injunction by the lower court. This decision upholds the US District Judge's ruling made on December 20, 2023.


Why Was There a Need for New Gun Laws in California?


In June 2022, the US Supreme Court concluded the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen case, stating that the New York law was unconstitutional and everyone had the right to bear arms under the constitution. The apex court mentioned that the state has the right to enforce "permitting," and its laws must resemble the gun regulations during the 17- and 1800s.


Due to the US Supreme Court's decision, many people filed lawsuits involving federal and state gun regulations. States also had to revisit their old gun laws to ensure that they followed the recent guidelines set by the apex court.


What Argument Is the State Presenting Against the Right to Bear Arms?


In California, most legal experts believe that it is a blatant violation of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, and gun rights groups may succeed in proving that.


On the other hand, there is a group of people and government officers who believe the new gun law is a step in the right direction. 


According to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the district court's dangerous ruling to block the law could lead to an increase in gun violence and endanger the citizens, especially in public places where families and children gather.


What Are the Other Recent Gun Laws in California?


Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has made gun safety regulation a key focus of his political campaign. Previously, Newsom supported background checks for purchasing ammunition while backing legislation that restricted the use of high-capacity magazines and various assault rifles.


In 2023, Newsom signed more than 20 gun safety laws. Some of them raise the age limit of carrying a firearm in public to 21 years, while others place a tax on owning a gun and increase the training period required before receiving CCW licenses.


Legal Consequences of Violating the Concealed Firearm Law

Legal Consequences of Violating the Concealed Firearm Law


While Californians may carry a concealed weapon if they have the necessary permit, the confusion around the recent gun laws and the current court battle can cause an error in one's judgment in regard to the existing regulations.


Violating the concealed firearm law can lead to serious legal and financial repercussions depending on the offense charged. If the violation leads to a misdemeanor, the consequences may include up to a year in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and summary probation.


However, if the justice system charges the crime as a felony, the defendant may have to pay a maximum fine of $10,000, spend up to three years in prison, and receive formal probation.


Due to the confusion regarding the law, someone might be violating it without realizing it. If they end up in trouble, it's important for them to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney for legal representation.


Criminal Defendants Should Reach Out to Gun Law Experts in California!


Those facing criminal charges regarding gun law violation in Sacramento, California, should call to schedule a free consultation with the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Goss Law. They can assess the facts surrounding the case, build a strong defense, and fight to have the sentence reduced!

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