“We have these horrific deaths every year,” Hertzberg said. “How do we, as MPs, try to find constructive ways to mitigate this terrible tragedy?”

A group of Democratic legislators insist they are unfazed by the legal threats as they enact laws they know other blue states are likely to emulate. He has already introduced at least five bills, with more to come. Here’s what you need to know about California gun safety advocates’ expectations for 2023 and the hurdles they face.

This year, advocates hope to tax the gun industry and defy the Supreme Court

Sacramento veterans and newcomers alike began pushing gun laws in the new legislative session, with bills targeting gun violence and the firearms industry. First-year state senator Katherine Blakespear presented one on the day of her swearing-in.

Blackspear’s Senate Bill 8 is an open-ended intent bill that would seek to prevent gun violence; The senator plans to fill it in with details in the coming weeks.

Other lawmakers are advocating a do-over of the previous law. is back with State Sen. Anthony Portantino senate bill 2Which is after the Supreme Court to protect the state’s concealed-carry law Bruen Judgment in New York. their last attempt to failed miserably in assembly after Some MPs questioned Will the bill survive in court? And Gabriel is again supporting a gun violence prevention initiative to tax the sale of firearms and ammunition.

Gabriel also has a new bill that would allow Californians to add themselves to the Do Not Sell Firearms list, and Second Which would ban those under domestic violence protection orders from possessing firearms for three years after their order expires.

Even if the proposals make it out of the Legislature, their long-term fate will hinge on surviving a thorny legal landscape.

Gabriel said, “If and when we pass this tax on the sale of guns and ammunition, I have no doubt that it will be challenged in court.” “But the fact that someone is going to file a lawsuit … is no reason to move forward.”

Phil Ting, a Democratic assembly member from San Francisco, said he expects to see a legislative push this year to make more research on firearms and gun violence publicly available.

“The gun lobby has worked very hard to have no information,” Ting said. “They would like it to be treated as individual accidents and incidents when we know that the more guns there are on the road, the more deaths occur.”

States must face the reality of a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court majority

Lawmakers in California and elsewhere say they are eager to ban the guns after nearly 650 mass shootings nationwide last year, the second-highest number on record. But the reality is that the legal landscape for firearms regulation at the state level has never been more hostile.

“California is having more trouble than ever defending its gun control laws,” said Adam Winkler, a constitutional law expert at UCLA. “A lot of widely accepted, long-standing rules are now being called into question nationwide.”

In June, the Supreme Court not only struck down a New York law that restricted concealed carry permits in the state. majority opinion in Bruen The case, backed by a 6-3 conservative majority in the High Court, opened the door to challenges on a wide range of Second Amendment policies restricting firearms. Gun Rights Advocates have already accepted the invitation, leading to challenges across the country that are likely to prevail under the newly established framework set forth by the Supreme Court.

Any new law in California faces a potential challenge from advocates such as the Second Amendment Foundation.

“California and other states need to repeal anti-gun rights laws, not pass new ones, or we will beat them in court,” said Alan Gottlieb, the organization’s executive vice president.

may be the first Senate Bill 1327, a bill modeled after a Texas law that allows for private lawsuits against those who help obtain or provide abortions. Newsom signed SB 1327 last year with the intention of inviting a legal challenge. As expected, California’s new law has already been overturned in federal court, and Hertzberg said he expects it to make its way to the Supreme Court.

Newsom vs. Benitez – again.

California’s efforts to tighten gun restrictions have hit a wall with federal judge Roger Benitez, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, overturning the state’s assault weapons ban in 2021. Benitez has earned a reputation for making controversial statements about gun policy, including falsely claiming that vaccines have killed more Americans than mass shootings.

For gun safety advocates, Benitez is a scary figure: Second Amendment groups have strategically filed lawsuits in his district, he says, because they know he’ll hand them a favorable decision. He also lurks in the minds of lawmakers: Gabriel said that Benitez is “a great example of an extremely activist judge who is very far from the mainstream.”

Several of Benitez’s decisions overturning state gun laws have been appealed before Bruen. Now they have been sent back to him. Ari Freilich, state policy director for the Gifford Law Center, said, “Years of litigation … and we’re right back at square one with the same judge whose opinion was already overturned by the Ninth Circuit.”

When Benitez killed SB 1327, it was déjà vu for both himself and Newsom, who had publicly opposed each other. The governor initially rebuked the judge after overturning the assault weapons ban, calling him a “wholly owned subsidiary of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association.”

Newsom said in a June 2021 news conference, “We need to call this federal judge out.” “He will continue to do harm. Mark my words.”

Rethinking a Century of Gun Policy

While lawmakers wait for the Supreme Court to clarify its interpretation of the Second Amendment, Benitez is already coercing state attorneys to defend California’s restrictions. Last month, he asked lawyers to draft a 97-year history of gun restrictions in the state — starting with the ratification of the Second Amendment and ending 20 years after the ratification of the 14th.

The request emerged from the Supreme Court’s decision in bruen, which states that judges must employ an interpretation “rooted in the text of the Second Amendment, as informed by history.”

The judge will use this history to aid in his analysis – and to help determine the fate of new and old gun safety laws in California.

Bruen Winkler said that has forced attorneys across the country to spend valuable time conducting historical research on Second Amendment law. He called the increase in litigation a “huge burden” for state DOJs across the country.

The California DOJ declined to answer questions about the agency’s workload. But in a statement to POLITICO, a department spokeswoman confirmed that the Supreme Court ruling has triggered a series of lawsuits.

For state justice departments across the country, Winkler said, more lawsuits mean more work.

“They have limited resources, and they have to spend those resources defending this gun law instead of pursuing other cases,” Winkler said. “You only have so many people working in the office.”

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