After Eight Months in Jail, DoorDash Driver Who Shot in Self-Defense a Free Man

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AP Photo/Martha Irvine

I can understand why California state Sen. Anthony Portantino would want to spin away U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney’s decision to grant an injunction against every one of the challenged “gun-free zones” that are a part of SB 2. As the architect of the state’s latest crackdown on lawful gun owners, I’m sure Portantino would like to save face after the judge called the bill “repugnant” to the Second Amendment. But Portantino’s latest comments on the judge’s ruling aren’t just a matter of trying to spin Carney’s decision in the most favorable light possible, and instead, venture into a gross misrepresentation of both the judge’s decision and the litigation that led to the injunction.

“I think it’s important to highlight that, though I was disappointed in the judge’s decision, the judge only blocked a portion of the bill,” Portantino said. “The section on training, the section on the permits,  the section on the age,  all are in the bill, and some of the prohibited places are still in the bill. So, it was a narrow ruling, and a large portion of why this bill is necessary is going to go into effect on Jan. 1.”

There’s an important reason why Carney only opined on the “sensitive places” laid out in SB 2; those were the only portions of the law that were challenged in May v. Bonta and Carralelo v. Bonta. Other portions of SB 2 are subject to separate litigation, so Carney was never going to weigh in on the training mandates and other restrictions, and his silence most certainly doesn’t not amount to an implied approval of those sections of the law.

Many of the training requirements are being challenged as part of California Rifle & Pistol Association v. Los Angeles County Sheriff, a lawsuit that was filed back on December 4th. It’s entirely possible that when a preliminary hearing on a request for an injunction is held, U.S. District Judge Sherilyn Peace Garnett will find those training provisions just as problematic as Carney found SB 2’s “sensitive places” to be, and will enjoin those mandates from being enforced while the litigation moves forward.

Portantino’s false narrative that Carney actually upheld most of SB 2 isn’t the only bit of misdirection surrounding his decision that we’ve seen from gun control fans. Another trope that’s been trotted out is that Carney’s ruling somehow upends settled law, when in fact it merely keeps the status quo in place.

I don’t know if Stern is unaware of this fact or just wants to keep his audience in the dark, but there’s nothing stopping a concealed carry licensee in California from lawfully carrying at playgrounds, or in a public library right now. While many banks or other private businesses may prohibit concealed carry on their premises, they’re also free to do so while Carney’s injunction is in effect. But it’s their choice to ban lawful carry on the premises, instead of a requirement by the state.

It is depressing, but it’s also a sign of desperation on the part of the gun control crowd. If they were to admit that concealed carry hasn’t been banned in these supposedly sensitive places before now, then folks might wonder why these draconian steps are suddenly necessary. The reason is simple: now that California can’t prohibit most residents from obtaining a carry license, the best way to stop the right to bear arms from being exercised is to bar lawful carry in most publicly accessible places. SB 2 is nothing more than an attempt to do an end run around the Second Amendment and the Bruen decision, ostensibly in the name of public safety but in reality to prevent the public from exercising a fundamental civil right.

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