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Lawsuit Challenges California’s Ban on Firearms in ‘Sensitive Places’ Like Stadiums, Public Transit and a ‘No-Carry Default Provision’ for Private Property

Lawsuit Challenges California’s Ban on Firearms in ‘Sensitive Places’ Like Stadiums, Public Transit and a ‘No-Carry Default Provision’ for Private Property

The lawsuit challenges California’s attempt to expand the scope of permissible “sensitive place” bans beyond places recognized by the Supreme Court.

A lawsuit filed on September 26 on behalf of several California gun owners challenges the state’s ban on concealed carry in “sensitive places” and private property generally. The plaintiffs, concealed carry license holders, seek an injunction allowing them to carry at the challenged locations.

The California Attorney General’s Office is “reviewing the complaint” and reaffirmed its “commit[ment] to passing and defending commonsense, constitutional gun laws that will save lives” in response to questions from Legal Insurrection.

The ban covers much public property, including parks and mass transit, as well as casinos, stadiums, and arenas. The ban also has a “no-carry default provision that prohibits carry on all private commercial property open to the public,” unless the proprietor expressly consents to on-property carry.

The complaint alleges numerous provisions of the ban run counter to New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a landmark Supreme Court decision that struck down a New York law effectively banning carry outside the home. Bruen provided the framework needed to assess the constitutionality of gun laws like California’s:

[W]hen the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct, and to justify a firearm regulation the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.

Bruen,” according to the complaint, “has already established that the Second Amendment covers plaintiffs’ proposed conduct here—carrying arms publicly for self-defense and other lawful purposes.” The burden thus shifts to California to show the ban comports “with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

California cannot meet this burden, the complaint argues, because “sensitive place” restrictions must be “sufficiently analogous to a ‘well-established and representative historical analogue,'” of which “[t]he Court has identified only three” possibly relevant to the ban from the Founding Era: “legislative assemblies, polling places, and courthouses.”

“The unifying principle allowing arms to be restricted in these locations at the Founding,” according to the complaint, “was comprehensive government-provided security.” The government provides no such security at the challenged locations.

In any attempt to expand the definition of “sensitive place,” California will fail under the Bruen test, the complaint argues, because the Supreme Court rejected analogous efforts from New York in Bruen:

Put simply, there is no historical basis for New York to effectively declare the island of Manhattan a “sensitive place” simply because it is . . . protected generally by the New York City Police Department.

The ban, signed into law on September 26, is slated to take effect on January 1.


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E Howard Hunt | October 1, 2023 at 6:06 pm

Just uses a little Bengay if they chafe those sensitive places.

Here in Portland the city parks are where the need for CHL is the highest between the gang banger picnics and antifa staging sites. I bet KA (formerly CA) is the same.

Probably moot as it is only a matter of time before those lands are turned over to control by the ferals who have ringed most of them already with encampments on the parking strips.

The vile and lawless Dumb-o-crats are undeniably sneaky and underhanded, using their exhaustive “sensitive places” declarations to enact what amounts to a de facto nullification of the Second Amendment outside citizens’ homes and an obnoxious end-run around SCOTUS’s recent jurisprudence bolstering Second Amendment rights.

Talk about telegraphing your ruling… from the judge who just issued the injunction in the parallel New Jersey case:

Under the judge’s order, Maryland is enjoined from enforcing laws restricting the carrying of firearms in locations selling alcohol, private buildings or property without the owner’s consent, and within 1,000 feet of a public demonstration. However, he left intact the prohibitions on carry in health care facilities, school grounds, government buildings, museums, state parks and state forests, casinos, mass transit facilities, stadiums, racetracks, and amusement parks.

Gee, I wonder how the final list of judicially-approved “sensitive places” is going to read?

Need to take away law makers immunity for this kind of bullschiff. Pass laws that infringe not only on our rights, but in direct opposition to a Supreme Court ruling should make them PERSONALLY liable.

    Milhouse in reply to 4fun. | October 2, 2023 at 8:27 am

    That would violate the separation of powers. In the case of US congressmen it would be explicitly unconstitutional; in the case of state legislators it would probably also be unconstitutional, because federal law cannot dictate to state legislators how they may vote.

      PaulM in reply to Milhouse. | October 2, 2023 at 10:42 am

      And this is, in my opinion, the single greatest oversight made in drafting the Constitution.

      There really needs to be a way to penalize lawmakers, and judges, that blatantly violate the Constitution. Merely voiding the law, or overturning the ruling, doesn’t seem to be enough anymore – if it ever was.

Just prohibit armed security for all California lawmakers (governor, senators, representatives, etc.) and see how long insane laws last.

Screw “sensitive places”.

Criminals. Do. Not. Obey. Laws.

No government has any right to infringe on citizens’ abilities to protect themselves.

The prohibition of weapons on mass transit is particularly egregious.

I have read that ‘Law of Self-Defense’ fellow who writes columns published on this website occasionally and one of his rules is that you must do everything to retreat from a pending violent situation before you may use deadly force in which to defend yourself. On mass transit, there is nowhere to which you can retreat.

The old case of Bernie Goetz and the recent case of U.S. Marine sergeant Jordan Neely is indicative. I have no doubt that these men did nothing morally wrong whatever the law says.

The bad guys know that commuters cannot carry weapons on the subway. I guarantee that if subway riders were allowed to carry the entire experience would be much more cordial.

As for stadia, I live in CA and went to a San Diego Chargers football game about six years ago. I carry a backpack like a woman carries a purse. It is always with me out in public. You cannot even bring a backpack into the football stadium in San Diego.


The no-carry ban default provision on all private commercial property open to the public unless the proprietor expressly consents to on-property carry is a true stroke of Marxist genius.

The default position should be signs prohibiting carry. But then the property owner will be faced with a dilemma: post a no-carry sign and invite smash and grab crime (and any lawsuit by a collateral crime victim) or risk offending a customer base or turning away people who may fear getting caught up in a crime. Best not to post anything and leave everyone guessing.

But by making the owner actively place a sign inviting carry, he then makes himself visible to the State, who will then come down on his head with every imaginable regulatory hammers.