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Name: People v. Allen (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 573
Case #: E079475
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/18/2023

Statute prohibiting possession of controlled substances while armed (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.1(a)) is facially constitutional after Bruen. Defendant appealed from his convictions for possessing a controlled substance while armed with a firearm and possessing an unregistered and loaded firearm while in a vehicle, arguing that the laws are unconstitutional in light of N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen (2022) 597 U.S. __ [142 S.Ct. 2111]. Held: Affirmed, but remanded for resentencing on unrelated grounds (in an unpublished portion of the opinion, the court remanded based on section 654). While Bruen changed the two step analysis for analyzing statutes under the Second Amendment articulated in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) 554 U.S. 570, the first step of the analysis remains the same, namely, determining whether the prohibited conduct is covered by the Second Amendment. Several months before Bruen was decided, based on the first step of the analysis in Heller, the Court of Appeal held in People v. Gonzalez (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 907 that Health and Safety Code section 11370.1 does not violate the Second Amendment because the amendment protects “law abiding citizens only” and does not “protect a right to carry a gun while simultaneously engaging in criminal conduct.” This case remains good law after Bruen. [Editor’s Note: In an unpublished portion of the opinion, the court also rejected defendant’s argument that carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle (Pen. Code, § 25850, subds. (a), (c)(6)) is facially unconstitutional after Bruen.]