Attorney General Bonta to Appeal Decision Blocking Enforcement of SB 2’s Prohibition of Handguns in Certain Sensitive Public Places

Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that his office will file an appeal of a district court decision issued in two companion cases, May v. Bonta and Carralero v. Bonta, enjoining certain provisions of Senate Bill 2 (SB 2) that prohibit the carry of concealed weapons in certain sensitive places including places where people gather, such as playgrounds and youth centers, places of worship, libraries, and parks, among other public places.  

“If allowed to stand, this decision would endanger communities by allowing guns in places where families and children gather,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Guns in sensitive public places do not make our communities safer, but rather the opposite. More guns in more sensitive places makes the public less safe; the data supports it. I have directed my team to file an appeal to overturn this decision. We believe the court got this wrong, and that SB 2 adheres to the guidelines set by the Supreme Court in Bruen. We will seek the opinion of the appellate court to make it right.”

While the United States Supreme Court has concluded that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution imposes some restrictions on states’ ability to regulate firearms, it has also recognized that the Second Amendment allows states to adopt a variety of gun regulations. For example, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that states may restrict the carrying of firearms in “sensitive places” and that states may prohibit individuals who are not law-abiding, responsible citizens from carrying firearms in public. 

Despite this direction from the Supreme Court, the district court’s decision enjoins the state from enforcing several provisions of SB 2 identifying certain places where guns may not be carried. Those places include amusement parks, stadiums, parks, libraries, and hospitals. The decision does not address prohibitions on carrying guns in sensitive places that were not challenged in the lawsuits, including school zones, preschools, state or local public buildings, airports, or any legislative offices. Those restrictions remain in full effect. Other parts of SB 2 are also not covered by the district court's order, including provisions that:

  • Enhance the existing comprehensive licensing regime that helps ensure those permitted to carry firearms in public are responsible and law-abiding individuals who do not pose a danger to themselves or others.
  • Protect children and young adults from gun violence by setting a minimum age requirement of 21 years of age to obtain a CCW license.
  • Advance safety through stronger training requirements about the proper handling, loading, unloading, and storage of firearms

So far in 2023, the United States has suffered over 640 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Although the United States is an outlier when compared to gun violence in other wealthy nations, states with strong gun violence protections in place suffer fewer gun-related deaths. Despite having one of the lowest rates of gun-related deaths in the nation, California is not immune to this uniquely American problem, and has a strong interest in maintaining laws that protect the safety of its citizens. 

Research shows that strong firearm licensing laws are effective. States that have weakened these laws have experienced an up to 15% increase in violent crime rates a decade after implementation. 

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