California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed multiple state gun regulation bills Tuesday including one that will double the taxes on gun and ammunition sales to fund violence intervention programs and public school security measures—as the governor makes gun regulation a key piece of his legacy amid increased mass shootings in the U.S.
The gun tax bill, AB28, will enforce an 11% tax on the sale of guns and ammunition in California, which will be stacked on top of California’s pre-existing 10-11% tax starting July 1, 2024.
State officials say the tax will generate about $159 million per year—funds that will be allocated to multiple state agencies including the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program and the California Department of Education, which will bolster security at public schools with physical security improvements, safety assessments, school-based mental health and behavioral services and other initiatives.
Newsom also signed SB2 into law, a bill that will prohibit concealed carry in places like public parks, playgrounds, churches, banks, public demonstrations and anywhere alcohol is sold.
Another bill was signed by Newsom that will require semiautomatic pistols sold in the state to contain microstamping—a technology that marks bullets and cartridge cases with unique fingerprints, making it easier for law enforcement to trace firearms.
The bills were passed overwhelmingly by California’s majority-Democratic legislature, and are the latest actions by Newsom to make gun control a central part of his legacy as he seeks to elevate his national profile.
Gun rights groups have already filed suit over SB2, and are expected to challenge the other new laws as well, with multiple groups arguing the concealed carry law would harm business owners and “eviscerate the very right to be armed in public that the plain language of the Second Amendment secures,” according to a filing.