After a series of mass shootings that killed 19 Californians in January, state Gov. Gavin Newsom, with Attorney General Rob Bonta and state Senator Anthony Portantino, announced new gun-safety legislation, SB 2, in hopes of decreasing gun violence in the state of California.
The goal of the new legislation is to strengthen our existing concealed carry laws and to prevent further deaths from gun violence, according to a press release from Newsom’s office.
“In the wake of the recent tragedies in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay and the continued threat of mass shootings, it’s critical that California leads on the issue of gun safety and reform,” Portantino said in an email.
Portantino mentioned various propositions in this new legislation that are expected to decrease gun violence. Included in the legislation are stronger storage and training requirements, along with an increase of the minimum age requirement for gun ownership to 21.
The legislation also contains provisions to identify “sensitive public places” where guns may not be carried, Portantino noted.
According to the Giffords Law Center, California was ranked first out of all states for gun safety in 2021 and has a 37% lower death rate than the national average; however, new provisions continue to be implemented.
“Common sense gun safety measures in California are working and we have to strengthen them to prevent further violence,” Portantino said in an email.
Portantino said the legislation will go into effect immediately after Newsom’s signature if an urgency clause is added. If there is no such clause, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Additionally, Portantino spoke on earlier efforts in June 2022 to pass a similar bill after the Supreme Court ruling of New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, but noted he had faced roadblocks along the way.
“SB 918, authored by Senator Portantino last year, was California’s legislative response to the court’s ruling but it did not reach the governor’s desk,” an email from Portantino’s office reads. “This year, the Senator introduced SB 2 to continue efforts to strengthen concealed carry laws in California and make communities safer.”
Bonta also spoke on mass shootings, affirming the dire need for gun regulations.
Bonta mentioned the importance of making sure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands, especially to people who are not law-abiding citizens, calling the alternative “deadly.”
“The Second Amendment is not a regulatory straitjacket — we must protect our communities. The time for thoughts and prayers has long passed: we need brave and immediate action by our leaders,” Bonta said in a statement. “We can’t afford to wait even one minute more.”