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Name: People v. Mosqueda (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 399
Case #: C097326
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/20/2023
Summary

Trial court erred when it dismissed charges for unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm and carrying a loaded firearm based on N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen (2022) __U.S.__ [142 S.Ct. 2111]. Defendants were charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm (Pen. Code, § 25400(a)(2)) and carrying a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle (§ 25850(a)), and other offenses. Prior to the preliminary hearing, defendants filed demurrers, which the trial court sustained based on Bruen. The court dismissed the action and the People appealed, arguing the trial court erred by holding that Bruen wholly invalidated California’s concealed carry licensing scheme. Held: Reversed. The Court of Appeal analyzed California’s firearm licensing scheme in light of Bruen and concluded that Bruen did not render California’s entire licensing scheme or the charges against defendants unconstitutional. The unconstitutional “good cause” requirement in Penal Code section 26150 is severable from the remainder of the licensing statute. Assuming the “good moral character” provision is also unconstitutional, it is also severable. While defendants raised a facial constitutional challenge to the “may issue” clause in section 26150, which grants discretion to a licensing official, this issue is best decided in as-applied challenges, not facial challenges. Since section 26150 “is a valid licensing provision and provides a valid means for citizens to exercise their right under Bruen to possess a handgun in public for self-defense, defendants’ Second Amendment rights are not violated when the state enforces that provision criminally.” [Editor’s Note: The People also argued the trial court erred by finding that defendants had standing because they had not applied for and been denied a concealed carry license. The Court of Appeal concluded that defendants had standing to raise the defense by demurrer, but addressed this in an unpublished part of the opinion.]