KTLA 5: California rings in 2024 with new laws focused on firearms, cannabis and workers’ rights

December 26, 2023

New Year’s Day brings a sense of optimism to many of us out there; we can start the new year with a clean slate. But in 2024, there also come new laws taking place in the Golden State, from camping and cannabis to cruising.

When the calendar flips to January 2024, new laws will enter the fold.

First, there’s Senate Bill 2, which establishes new measures for concealed carry firearm permit holders. SB 2 limits where firearms can be carried, such as schools, government buildings and public transit, and requires CCW applicants to be 21 years old, have previous firearm training and pass background checks.

“If you have a record of domestic abuse, you shouldn’t have a gun. If you’re on social media threatening the lives of people, you shouldn’t have a gun,” said the bill’s author, State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank).

The law was supposed to take effect on January 1, but was blocked by a U.S. District Judge, meaning the law will make its way to federal court and likely the US Supreme Court for a decision.

In the fight against fentanyl, lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 701, which enhances punishments for people convicted of dealing more than a kilo of the deadly narcotic.

According to the California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office, nearly 7,000 Californians overdosed from the drug in 2022.

Several other laws in 2024 are intended to protect and improve the quality of life for California workers.

Assembly Bill 2188 protects workers or applicants from discrimination based on their use of cannabis products outside of work.

It’s important to note that while off-the-clock discrimination is prohibited, those same protections aren’t in place to prevent any ramifications for those who use cannabis while on the clock.

Minimum wage is going up in California from $15.50 for all employers in 2023 to $16 an hour in 2024.

In April 2024, fast food workers will see a bigger increase to $20 an hour. Sick days are also going to increase for workers from the three minimum paid sick days to five says the bill’s author, State Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach).

“A huge victory again for all workers. It’s a really wonderful opportunity to get two extra days to recover, to rest, for mental health, whatever they need,” Lena Gonzalez said.

Other laws coming into effect block counties and cities from imposing bans on cruising on city streets — a win for the lowrider community.

And for campers, there’s a new online policy to encourage early cancellations of campsite reservations. If you cancel a reservation more than a week out, you can receive a credit to use in the future. If you don’t show up on day one of your reservation, your entire stay will be canceled.

The policy is meant to encourage people to reserve responsibly or get others who want to camp into an unused space.

Read the article on KTLA 5, here