The new law would ban carrying firearms in most public places
NORTH COUNTY — The first day of the new year was supposed to bring a new gun law into play, but it’s been put on hold for now. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 2 last year, but California courts have stayed the bill on grounds and concerns that it is a violation of residents’ Second Amendment rights.
The new law deals with concealed carrying permits for firearms and will prohibit people with CCWs from carrying in 26 public places. Those places include parks open to the public, churches, playgrounds, and more, even if that person has a concealed carry permit for a weapon.
“Laws in California are already restrictive regarding concealed weapon permit carriers,” said Jim Mulhall, co-owner of Rooster’s Firearms in Templeton. “The license is issued by the sheriff or the police chief of the city depending on where the person lives. They go through an intensive background investigation, and they go through an intensive training cycle to train with that firearm and understand the laws and the regulations.
“Then, each police chief or sheriff sets down his or her regulations as to what the restrictions are in carrying that CCW. So you already have a very strong CCW system in California, where the state becomes involved in issuing the permit after the police chief or the sheriff decides to go ahead on their authority and do that.”
Mulhall added that Senate Bill 2 is an intrusive law that adds more restrictions on concealed weapon permit carriers, making actions illegal and criminal for people who lawfully carry a concealed firearm. He also stated that the new law basically restricts the sheriff or the police chief’s authority to issue concealed weapon permits and where and when a citizen can carry a firearm with said permit.
“I think that it’s invasive for the people who go through the amount of training that they do,” Mulhall stated of CCW carriers.
Being part of law enforcement for 35 years, 29 of those spent with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, and most of those years as the commander of the unit that issued CCWs, Mulhall looked over the CCW applications before the sherrif signed off on them. After that, he was the police chief of Atascadero, which gives him a plethora of knowledge on the new law.
“I did 35 years in law enforcement,” he said. “I’ve not seen where a CCW person who’s allowed to carry has committed a firearms-related crime with that concealed carry because they go through so much training and they go through so many regulations that their mindset is not of a person to commit a crime.”
While there will be a list of places where CCW permit holders will not be allowed to carry their firearms, privately owned businesses have the option to put up signs that state people are allowed to bring firearms onto their private property.
“For me, as a business owner, now I have to post a sign that says that you are allowed to carry concealed weapons in my store,” Mulhall said. “That applies to employees, and that applies to my customers. So now, by that law, I’m required to post a sign that says I allow you to do that within my business.”
According to Mulhall, Senate Bill 2 does not apply to current law enforcement or retired law enforcement aside from the rules and regulations that they already follow.
While the new law is on hold and being looked at closer, Newson has said that California will continue its fight for more gun control. The appeals court has said that Senate Bill 2 will be reevaluated in April 2024.