Lillian Tweten on September 26, 2023
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several gun control bills into law on Tuesday that add heavy taxes for gun purchases and severely restrict where citizens can legally carry in the state, a video of the signing showed.
The laws will raise the eligible age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, add an additional 11% excise tax to all gun sales and place expansive restrictions on where California citizens can carry guns, including within 1,000 feet of a school, at a public gathering, at a park, at or near a church, on a sidewalk next to a park and any parking lots. Newsom framed the move as a response to the “rights reduction” caused by gun laws that function under a “1790s framework,” a recording of the signing showed.
“While radical judges continue to strip away our ability to keep people safe, California will keep fighting — because gun safety laws work,” Newsom wrote in a press release on the signing. “The data proves they save lives: California’s gun death rate is 43% lower than the rest of the nation. These new laws will make our communities and families safer.”
Newsom and the authors of both bills presented the legislation at the signing as an attempt to improve public safety and the access to rights in the state. When asked where California residents would be allowed to carry guns besides walking down the street, Newsom deferred to Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino, who listed three locations where gun carry will be legal.
“Public sidewalks, and if a restaurant signs a waiver and allows you into the establishment, then we’re leaving it up to certain businesses to decide,” Portantino said at the signing. “The same thing with homes. So, you, as the responsible person with that permit, are going to have to do a little work. And again, it’s a responsibility. I don’t have a problem with saying to that community that believes in having a concealed carry permit that they need to do a little work.”
The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed a federal lawsuit immediately after Newsom signed the laws, protesting the constitutionality of the bills, according to an FPC press release. The FPC argued in its suit that the bill heavily restricting open carry violates the 2022 Supreme Court decision in New York Rifle & Pistol Asscn. v. Bruen, which struck down New York’s gun control law prohibiting citizens from having a concealed carry permit unless they have “proper cause” to do so.
Newsom mentioned at the signing that he expects both laws to survive the court’s scrutiny because they had been written with Bruen “in mind.” He referred to the majority decision in Bruen as “a perversion” and implied that if the laws do not survive the Supreme Court’s examinations, it will be because the court is “corrupt.”
“We anticipate for all of them to take effect, because we think they’re sound and because we think they will pass scrutiny,” Newsom said. “But I’m not naive about the recklessness of the federal courts and the ideological agenda.”
The California governor’s office declined to comment further on the matter.