Governor Newsom Responds to Supreme Court Decision on Concealed Carry
Today, as you no doubt have heard, the Supreme Court erased a common-sense gun safety law in New York state that has existed for decades. Not only in New York state, a law that is similar to those in seven states, including California. This is exactly the kind of dangerous decision we’ve come to expect from this Supreme Court. But I want you to know, we have been anticipating this moment.
We have not been sitting by passively. We’ve been working closely with our attorney general, with legal staff, as well as legislative leadership to ready and craft legislation that will be heard next week to protect our public-carry law and defend the rights of Californians. But make no mistake. Make no mistake, this is a radical decision, one that adopts in the court’s own words, a rigid history approach. A rigid history-only approach that would require gun regulations to be frozen in time from the founding era, as if we should go back and stack our courts, not with lawyers to understand the world and the way it was, but with historians.
But even historians that do know a thing or two about our past know that the notion of “bearing arms” in the first place was an idiom, Republican-appointed Justice Stevens said himself. He pointed out it was a term used to protect the rights of those who use a gun in conjunction with a “well-regulated militia.” It was a term that was overwhelmingly used for war. A term that applied to a group, like an army, not an individual.
Of course, the Heller decision overturned that thinking. And of course, here we are again with another bad decision. Recrafting our laws with a premise that we exist in the 1700s. A time, as Justice Breyer pointed out, when most Americans lived on farms or small towns. I think it was 1790 alone, New York City was the largest city in America, the size of about 30,000 people.
A time when being armed meant muskets, crossbows, still ladders, lancegays and dirks. Look them up. A time before AR-15s and AK-47s. Before ghost guns, or even 3D printers. Completely ignoring the realities of the modern-day horrors of gun violence we see play out each and every day across our country. The devastation that we’ve witnessed. I hate to even go through the list again. Uvalde, Buffalo, Vegas, and Sandy Hook and Columbine and so many other places.
All of this makes it nearly, not completely, nearly impossible to govern in a way that maintains safety and security. But we’re not going to give up. We will not give up. California will continue to fight and continue to lead the fight to keep our people safe. Just next week, and this is a proof point, I will have the privilege, because of legislative leadership, the privilege to sign 16 new bills that will be on my desk, including a bill that will allow individuals to sue gunmakers and distributors for violating our state gun laws.
I look forward to signing each and every one of those common sense gun bills, and continue to prove that common sense saves lives. That’s a fact. That’s not an assertion. It’s time for us to stand up. It’s also time for us to vote out those in elected office who continue to enable and coddle the gun industry, and to do everything in our power, everything in our power, to push back against this radicalized and politicized Supreme Court.
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