9th Circuit Court Puts Temporary Stay on California Senate Bill 2 Firearm Restrictions

In a January 2023 court decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals brought a halt to the controversial California Senate Bill 2. This California state law, signed in 2021 and set to take effect January 1, 2024, aimed to prohibit carrying firearms in over 2 dozen types of public settings, ranging from parks to public transit to private businesses open to the public. The court’s ruling came in response to a lawsuit from gun rights groups like the Firearms Policy Coalition, which argued Senate Bill 2 violates Second Amendment rights.

The 9th Circuit panel issued the ruling on Senate Bill 2 based on recent Supreme Court decisions invalidating restrictive “proper cause” standards for concealed carry permits in other states. Their stay stated that the broad-ranging exclusions set in Senate Bill 2 likely made it impossible for Californians to lawfully carry firearms for self defense in public as allowed under the Supreme Court. Law experts believe Senate Bill 2 may remain permanently halted by further judicial review in the appeals court process.

Going forward, this case has potential to rise to the U.S. Supreme Court itself to issue a definitive ruling on California’s attempt to broadly limit firearms being carried in all but a handful of public area category types under Senate Bill 2. Meanwhile, the 9th Circuit stay remains only a temporary block pending the ongoing California versus Firearms Policy Coalition lawsuit appeal.

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