A new year means new guns laws. As 2024 state legislative sessions kick off, bills are being introduced, while laws are either taking effect or encountering challenges at both the state and federal level. Media reports are inundated with news about how these changes impact gun owners, making it challenging to sift through and locate the most important information. Each month, we’ll keep you informed so you stay up to date with the most important gun news.
California Gun Control
Californians with a concealed carry permit can lawfully carry a gun in most areas of the state once again. A three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals removed a stay applied to a lower court ruling against California’s SB2, which created a near-total ban on gun carry in the state. The action reinstates the lower court ruling that found the law violated the Second Amendment rights of those with gun-carry permits
The Reload, California
U.S. Senators Regret Gun Control Votes
Days after meeting with heartbroken parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-Col.) joined three other red-state Democrats and 41 Republicans to successfully block a background check bill. A more sweeping proposal that would have banned many semi-automatic weapons failed that day by an even wider margin, with opposition from 16 members of the Democratic caucus. A ban on high-capacity magazines like the one used by the Sandy Hook shooter also fell short. Now, as mass shootings have become more frequent in the decade since Sandy Hook, four current senators and three former senators have taken the remarkable step of recanting some or all of their 2013 positions.
Michigan Increases Gun Restrictions Going into 2024
New laws will be taking effect in the first few months of 2024, including a set of laws that aim to increase gun safety in Michigan. There are four significant gun laws that will be implemented in 2024 that will require things like safe storage, universal background checks, creating Extreme Risk Protection Orders also called “red flag laws,” and a gun ban for those convicted of domestic violence.
CBS News, Michigan
Gun Buyback Violates New Mexico Laws
A private gun buyback event hosted by gun-control activist group New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) may have violated New Mexico’s gun laws. The San Juan County sheriff’s department is launching an official investigation to determine if it was illegal under state law for the group to exchange gift cards for unwanted firearms without first conducting a background check.
The Reload, New Mexico
Honolulu Blocks Gun Sales
Hawaii Firearms Coalition, a local gun-rights group, claimed in a statement that Gun sales have been blocked for much of December in Hawaii’s largest city. The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) has advised gun purchase or carry permit applicants they won’t process them without a (currently unattainable) training certification. And it’s unclear when those permits might become available again.
The Reload, Hawaii
Ohio Sees Less Crime with Constitutional Carry
Six of Ohio’s eight largest cities saw less gun crime after the state’s constitutional carry law took effect, according to a study published by the Center for Justice Research. Researchers analyzed data spanning from June 2021 to June 2023 – a year before and a year after the law took effect – focusing on crimes involving firearms, verified gunshot-detection alerts and the number of officers struck by gunfire. The study showed significant decreases in the number of crimes involving firearms in Akron, Columbus and Toledo, and across all eight cities combined.
Supreme Court Could Hear Case on Federal Gun Ban for Marijuana Users
The legal question over the constitutionality of a federal gun ban for marijuana users is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices are expected to decide whether they will hear an appeal of a circuit court ruling that found the restriction violates the Second Amendment. Three relevant cases are under consideration in the nation’s highest court that could finally settle the issue.
Post Office Gun Ban Ruled Unconstitutional
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle determined that the blanket ban on firearms possession in post offices violated the Second Amendment rights of a former postal employee who was charged with illegally possessing a gun in a federal facility. She dismissed part of the man’s indictment after concluding that a total gun ban in post offices is “incongruent with the American tradition of firearms regulation.” “The Supreme Court has been clear: the government must point to historical principles that would permit it to prohibit firearms possession in post offices,” Judge Mizelle wrote.
Concealed Carry Ban During Emergencies Unconstitutional
In a 2-1 decision, a Third Circuit Court of Appeals panel blocked Pennsylvania from enforcing a trio of state statutes that together prohibit people between the ages of 18 and 20 from legally carrying firearms when a state of emergency is declared. The ruling adds to a growing body of federal court decisions casting doubt on age-based gun restrictions. Texas, Tennessee, and Minnesota have similarly ruled that adults under the age of 21 are protected by the Second Amendment.
The Reload, Pennsylvania
Permanent Injunction Stops Oregon Measure 114
A formal ruling by Harney County Circuit Court includes a permanent injunction today against Oregon gun control policy, Measure 114, to prevent it from taking effect. Oregon voters narrowly passed Measure 114 as a referendum in November 2022. The measure has 13 sections involving Oregon gun ownership, including requiring police permission to purchase a firearm and limiting magazines to 10 rounds.
Assault Weapons Ban
A federal appeals court has said it will hear a series of major challenges to gun control laws in March, including a case seeking to strike down Maryland’s ban on assault weapons in the wake of a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that broadly expanded gun rights.
New Mexico Gun Control Partially Blocked
A U.S. District Court judge is standing by her decision to block portions of a public health order from New Mexico’s governor that would suspend the right to carry firearms in many public parks in the Albuquerque area, with appeals pending before a higher court. The rest of the public health orders have remained intact, including directives for monthly inspections of firearm dealers statewide and reports on gunshot victims at New Mexico hospitals.
KRWG, New Mexico
Colorado ‘Ghost Gun’ Ban Challenged
A new Colorado law went into effect on New Year’s Day that makes it illegal for people in the state to put together an untraceable, so-called “ghost gun” using a kit or a 3-D printer. Within hours, two gun rights groups sued the state over the new policy. The National Association for Gun Rights and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners filed their suit in federal court, arguing the homemade gun ban doesn’t meet the new historical standard test laid out in the 2022 Bruen ruling.