California gun laws are constantly changing. Here’s the latest California gun law update for January 2024.
Senate Bill 2 Litigation
Senate Bill 2 (or SB2) took effect on January 1, 2024. Some portions of the new law have been bouncing back and forth in court. The hotly contested sections include restrictions on where someone with a CCW license can carry a concealed firearm. For now, the 9th Circuit has undone its stay on the preliminary injunction that was issued by the district court. This means that the most draconian carry restrictions are blocked. People with a CCW license can currently carry in most public places, as the law currently stands. Exceptions include federal buildings (including post offices), schools, bars, and anywhere with a sign that says you can’t carry. To stay up to date on the litigation, follow the May v. Bonta case with the California Rifle & Pistol Association.
CCW Application Process
SB2 also made drastic changes to the process of applying for a CCW license in California. The “good moral character” requirement is no longer in the law. It was replaced by another subjective standard: “reasonably likely to be a danger.” Issuing agencies will conduct more thorough background checks. This includes reference checks and a review of publicly available information (think social media accounts). Penal Code section 26202 has a list of factors that will make a person ineligible to receive a CCW license. These prohibiting factors include being the subject of a restraining order, being convicted of specified crimes during certain time periods, and abusing controlled substances.
The new law also increased the training class requirements to 16 hours for new applicants and 8 hours for renewal applicants. We recommend the Defensive Handgun class at ShootSafe Learning. You might even have out lead attorney, Don Hammond, as one of your instructors!
Appeals for CCW Permit Denials
SB2 also created a process to appeal CCW denials in court. Within 30 days of a denial, we can file a “Request for Hearing to Challenge Disqualified Person Determination” form in court. The court then has to set a hearing within 60 days. At that hearing, the District Attorney has the burden of proving that the applicant is a disqualified person, i.e. reasonably likely to be a danger if granted a permit. We only have 30 days to file the court action, so it is critical to reach out to an attorney right away after a CCW permit denial. See our full article about CCW denial appeals here.
California Safe Handgun Roster
After many years of Californians only having access to an aging and limited list of “safe” handguns, several handguns have been recently added. These additions increase options for California gun purchasers, and bring us into the modern age. Notable additions include versions of Sig Sauer’s P365 and P320 modular handguns; Springfield’s Hellcat and Hellcat Pro; Smith & Wesson’s M&P9 M2.0 Plus, M&P9 M2.0 Compact, and M&P9 Shield Plus. These handguns have been in common use across the world, including by military and law enforcement personnel. Want to try out some handguns to get an idea of what might be the best option for you? We recommend the Choosing a Gun class at ShootSafe Learning.
Final Thoughts on California Gun Law Update for January 2024
California law regarding firearms is complex and changes often. Please stay up to date, and don’t take unnecessary risks. If you are arrested for possessing a gun, carrying a gun or using a gun, please give us a call ASAP. Attorney Don Hammond is a Critical Response Attorney for the United States Concealed Carry Association, an approved attorney with the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, and an active NRA certified shooting instructor.
We’ll try to post frequent California gun law updates on our blog.