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Smells Like Infringement

Judge Blows Out California’s Dumbest New Gun Law



Visit California! It’s almost as nice as America.

“California’s dumbest new gun law” is a bold claim, we know…

Just as much Scottish cuisine is apparently based on a schoolyard dare, most of California’s gun laws seem to be based on a schoolyard taunt. California’s gun owners are well aware that their state government thinks they have cooties. They’re pretty used to being pinned down and given wet willies, but California’s recently passed AB 2847 takes the bullying into atomic-wedgie territory.

As you may know, California has a “roster” of state-approved handguns, which are listed by model. The mere fact that they have such a roster is a violation of the Second Amendment, but AB 2847 goes one further. It says that for every handgun model that the state adds to the roster, they’ll remove three. The idea, clearly, is to eventually reduce the number of handguns that Californians are even allowed to try to buy down to whatever prime number is left. Sniff, sniff…what’s that smell? Infringement!

The Second Amendment Foundation took action

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) sued. They were joined by the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, Firearms Policy Coalition and a private citizen, Lana Rae Renna, for whom the case Renna v. Becerra is named. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Raymond DiGuiseppe of Southport, N.C. and Michael Sousa of San Diego.

A federal judge in Southern California just ruled on that law, which took effect in January 2021. The ruling, by U.S. District Chief Judge Dana Sabraw, is what we in the business call a “bitch-slap.” In his 15-page ruling, Judge Sabraw, who was appointed by George W. Bush, decided that plaintiffs “have sufficiently pled the UHA (“Unsafe Handgun Act”) substantially impacts their Second Amendment rights and thus burdens conduct protected by the Amendment.”

The judge also observed that the defendants offered “no justification for why the statute requires the removal of three handguns for each new handgun added (to the roster), instead of, for instance, a proportional one-to-one.”

The right to buy guns is as important as the right to own them

He also noted, “Plaintiffs allege the UHA’s roster imposes a significant burden on their Second Amendment rights. Specifically, the (complaint) alleges the number of handguns available for purchase on the roster continues to decline and ultimately will ‘shrink into oblivion’ as handguns are removed from the roster, including by AB 2847’s three-for-one provision. Taking Plaintiffs’ allegations as true, this limits the ability of law-abiding citizens to acquire firearms, which is critical to ensuring the Second Amendment right to keep arms.”

“This case shows California’s amended handgun law seems ultimately designed to shrink the available number of approved handguns to virtually zero,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Judge Sabraw appears to recognize this unconstitutional dilemma near the end of his opinion.”

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