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Court prevents California from banning guns in public

A federal appeals court has allowed a judge’s ruling that barred California from enforcing a new law that bans the carrying of guns in most public places onthe grounds that it was unconstitutional to take effect.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved an order by a different 9th Circuit panel from a week earlier that suspended an injunction issued by a judge who concluded the Democratic-ledstate’s law violated the right of citizens to keep and bear armsunder the US Constitution’s Second Amendment.

Last week’s order had temporarily stayed the injunction and allowed the law to take effect on 1 January.

Gun rights groups thenasked the 9th Circuit to reconsider, and yesterday a different panel of judges dissolved the order suspending the injunction.

“So the politicians’ ploy to get around the Second Amendment has been stopped for now,” CD Michel, a lawyer for the gun rights groups, said in a statement.

California’s appeal of the injunction will now be heard in April. The state’s attorney general in court papers had argued “tens of millions of Californians will face a heightened risk of gun violence” if the law was blocked.

“This dangerous decision puts the lives of Californianson the line,” said Daniel Villaseñor, a spokesperson for Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who signed the measure intolaw in September.

The law was enacted after a landmark ruling in June 2022 by the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court that expanded gunrights nationwide.

The Supreme Court in that case struck down New York’s strict gun permit regime and declared for the first time that the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.

The ruling, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen, also set out a new test to assess the constitutionality of gun laws by holding they must be “consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

California was among a group of states with similar laws as New York, and following the US Supreme Court’s decision moved to revamp its firearms regulations.

Under California’s new law, people could not carry concealedguns in 26 categories of “sensitive places” including hospitals, playgrounds, stadiums, zoos and places of worship, regardless whether they had permits to carry concealed weapons.

The law, Senate Bill 2, also barred people from havingconcealed guns at privately owned commercial establishments thatare open to the public, unless the business’s operator posts asign allowing license holders to carry guns on their property.

US District Judge Cormac Carney, an appointee ofRepublican former President George W. Bush, on Dec. 20 sidedwith permit holders and groups including the Firearms PolicyCoalition, Second Amendment Foundation and Gun Owners of Americain finding the law ran afoul of the Second Amendment.

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