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Democratic lawmakers in California failed to replace an existing gun control bill that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Thursday, leaving the state’s concealed carry regulations unenforceable.
The legislation failed to pass the California Assembly by a single vote early Thursday morning. California Attorney General Rob Bonta lamented that Californians currently have nearly unfettered access to concealed carry permits following the failed vote.
“There would be a huge influx of applicants now that the ‘just cause’ component has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, and not enough safety precautions for the individuals who are seeking that,” Bonta said.
“If this bill doesn’t pass, people who haven’t had a comprehensive safety evaluation can get a concealed weapon and bring it into [sensitive] places,” he added prior to the vote.
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Lawmakers say they will bring the bill back up for a vote during a December session.
California’s concealed carry laws were struck down after the Supreme Court ruled in June that states cannot require Americans to demonstrate the particular need for a firearm in order to receive a concealed carry license.
While the ruling related specifically to a New York law, California’s legislation mirrored the requirement and was struck down.
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“California was made less safe tonight by not passing the bill to make us consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision,” Portantino said. “It’s unfortunate, it’s sad, it’s surprising.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.