by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
George Leef’s latest Forbes column explores the Golden State’s latest attack on the Second Amendment.
California is the prime example of a state where the dominant political class abhors guns and does all it can to hamper individuals who own and carry them. A recent action of the state legislature makes that point and has led to a lawsuit that will be heard later this year by the Ninth Circuit.
Among the state’s many useless and symbolic laws is its “gun free school zone” law, which would do nothing to stop a determined killer from storming into a school and shooting students, teachers, and anyone else. But the state wrote an exception into that law for retired law enforcement officials and citizens who held a concealed carry permit. Those individuals could bring their weapons with them onto school grounds.
But in 2015, the anti-gun forces in California wanted to eliminate that exception and pushed a bill in the state legislature. That bill provoked a storm of lobbying by interest groups. The ones that were successful were those favoring police and government workers. They managed to get the bill changed so that the retired peace officer exception was retained. Regular civilians who have concealed carry permits, however, had no such clout in the legislature and the bill was signed into law removing only their exception.
One person who does is Dr. Ulises Garcia. Dr. Garcia applied for and obtained a concealed carry permit several years ago after a former patient had made threats against him. As a result of the change in the gun free school zone law, he can no longer carry his weapon if he attends school functions with his children. For no good reason, he has been deprived of his rights. Indeed, he is now in violation of the law if he should come within 1000 feet of a school with his gun.