California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday called for more gun restrictions, including limiting where people can carry concealed guns after a series of mass shootings across the state in January. .
On Wednesday, Newsom, a Democrat, endorsed legislation that would ban people from carrying guns in churches, public libraries, zoos, amusement parks, playgrounds, banks and other privately owned businesses that are open to the public. This rule does not apply if the business owner posts a sign stating that concealed handguns are allowed.
“Gun safety saves lives,” Newsom said at a news conference to announce the proposed bill. “More guns, more lives lost.”
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State Sen., a Democrat and author of the bill. Anthony Portantino called the exception to the sign saying that concealed guns are allowed “a legal significance that I think helps it pass constitutional muster.”
“This is not window dressing. This is putting a strong bill on the governor’s desk to withstand a legal challenge that is sure to come,” he said.
California and half a dozen other states previously had laws that required people to show a reason if they wanted to carry a concealed gun in public — such as citing a direct threat to public safety. But a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year struck down those laws, making it easier for people in those states to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
“CCW (concealed carry weapons) holders are not a problem,” said California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher. “There is no connection between these people and the violence and shootings that we’ve seen in California. That’s not the issue when it comes to the mass shootings that we’ve seen recently.”
The bill would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from holding a concealed carry permit. Permit holders will also be required to undergo additional training, including how to properly store and transport their weapons.
Dan Reed, California state director of the National Rifle Association, called the legislation a “political stunt” that will do nothing to curb violent crime.
“If Gov. Newsom and Ag [Rob] Bonta really wanted to deal with the violent crime rampant in his state, he wasn’t going to end the soft-on-crime policies and cash bail programs that have turned California into a nightmare for its citizens.” Instead. , these politicians have chosen to further limit the rights of law-abiding citizens with a political stunt that will no longer make Californians safer.”
California Democrats tried to pass the new laws last year — and would have succeeded, had it not been for a strategic blunder that required a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for the bill to take effect immediately. Democrats could not muster enough support, and the bill died.
The latest bill comes after mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay that left 18 dead and dozens injured. In all, California had six mass shootings in January that killed 29 people. After the Monterey Park shooting, Newsom said he believed the Second Amendment was becoming a “suicide pact,” drawing criticism from gun rights advocates.
The state is moving in the exact opposite direction of Florida, which passed legislation on Monday that would allow people to carry concealed firearms without obtaining a permit.
In a tweet Wednesday, Newsom argued that states that allow concealed carry of firearms have higher rates of violence.
“Don’t believe the lies of the gun industry,” he wrote. “CA will continue to lead on common sense gun laws.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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