The Bruen response bill filed in the California legislature would make it more expensive and a lot harder for most Californians to exercise their right to bear arms in self-defense, but it could also cost the state millions of dollars in taxpayer funds according to a new legislative analysis of SB 2.
The analysis, provided to members of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday, was highlighted by the Firearms Policy Coalition on X, which pointed out the financial cost to virtually every aspect of the criminal justice system.
An appropriations committee analysis for California’s Bruen response bill says that it will cost courts and local police “an unknown but significant amount,” while “DOJ reports it needs delayed implementation of July 1, 2027, to complete the required IT enhancements.” pic.twitter.com/4dCK88auvF
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) August 15, 2023
Specifically, according to the analysis, the California Department of Justice believes that the costs to administer the new laws will run into the “tens of millions” of dollars. DOJ reports a cost of $9.8 million this year that balloons to $17.2 million in the fiscal year 2024-25, subsides slightly to $16.8 million in FY 2025-26, and nearly $14 million every year after that. CalDOJ says the money is necessary to “support staffing for legal challenges to the new CCW standards, updating firearms database systems, promulgating regulations, performing background checks, processing fingerprint scans” as well as undefined “other workload” created by SB 2, but those aren’t the only costs associated with the “carry killer” legislation.
The analysis also maintains that there will be “unknown but significant” costs to the court system if SB 2 becomes law, and not just because of the rash of lawsuits challenging its constitutionality that will be immediately filed if it’s signed into law. One of the provisions of SB 2 allow for those concealed carry applicants who’ve been denied to appeal that decision to a judge, and according to the committee analysis if just 500 people choose to appeal the cost would be at least $500,000.
Beyond the increased costs in the court system, the analysis found another area where there could be an “unknown but significant” amount of money spent; state and local law enforcement. The analysis says that because the concealed carry licensing process is going to be even more extensive than what it was under the state’s “may issue” regime, “issuing authorities will likely incur significant workload costs” that the state may be required to reimburse. If the state doesn’t reimburse those local departments, they’ll have to make up the budget shortfall somehow, and that could lead to fewer officers on the street or conducting criminal investigations because they’re too busy scrutinizing legal gun owners trying to exercise their right to carry.
All this just to try and get around what the Supreme Court said about the right to bear arms and to limit the number of California residents exercising their Second Amendment rights. Of course, the tens of millions of dollars in additional costs aren’t going to come from the bank accounts of California lawmakers, so I don’t expect the fiscal analysis to derail the gun control bill any more than constitutional concerns will. The anti-rights crowd is happy to let taxpayers foot the bill for their infringements, no matter how long CalDOJ says it will take for them to be implemented.
We’ll be talking with California Rifle & Pistol Association legislative affairs director Rick Travis about the onslaught of gun control bills up for debate in Sacramento later this week on Cam & Co, and SB 2 will be one of our primary topics. Be sure to tune in, and if you’re a California gun owner, make sure you’re sounding off to your own state representative and senator about the untenable costs of SB 2; not just in terms of the money involved, but more importantly the cost to our fundamental civil liberties.