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A federal judge in California has granted summary judgment to three individuals in a lawsuit challenging that state’s penal code, which permanently denies Second Amendment rights to people who have had felony convictions vacated, set aside or dismissed, and their rights to possess firearms fully restored. The case is known as Linton v. Bonta.

U.S. District Judge James Donato in the Northern District of California wrote, “After multiple hearings and several rounds of briefing, and in light of the guidance provided by New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen…the Court concludes that California has violated the Second Amendment rights of the individual plaintiffs. Consequently, summary judgment is granted in favor of (Chad) Linton, (Paul McKinley) Stewart, and (Kendall) Jones on their as applied Second Amendment claim.”

The case was originally filed in December 2018. They are represented by attorney George Lee of Seiler Epstein, LLP in San Francisco. The challenge was originally brought by Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), the Calguns Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation and the three individuals. In his opinion, Judge Donato dismissed all the institutional plaintiffs. SAF continues to support the case.

According to SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, “The three individual plaintiffs were all convicted of non-violent felonies in other states decades ago. None of the convictions involved a weapon, drugs, or violence, in the ordinary meaning of the word. Each of the plaintiffs had their conviction vacated, set aside, or dismissed, and their right to possess firearms restored by the jurisdiction in which they were convicted. Linton legally acquired firearms in California on prior occasions, and Jones was a career law enforcement officer in California with special training and certification as a firearms instructor. Even so, California acted to permanently deny them of the right to possess or own firearms, solely on the basis of their original convictions.”

“This is a huge victory,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “It could amount to a first major step to create an avenue for other people with similar circumstances to return to lives of full citizenship. We’re delighted with Judge Donato’s ruling. This is just one more example of our mission to win firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time.”

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17 COMMENTS

  1. It’s interesting how the democrats want to give felons the right to vote. But not give them their 2A civil rights back.
    Just like the democrats want to give illegal aliens the right to vote.

    • Felons can vote in 38 states already and 2 states allow them to vote while in prison. What is wrong with them voting?

      • Did they return their 2nd amendment civil rights them???

        If you have done your time and paid your debt to society. Because you lost your freedom, because of the crimes is you committed. Then once you are released from prison. All of your rights should be restored.

        If they are not allowed to own guns but, are allowed to vote then they are government slaves.

        How do you defend yourself against government tyranny or the tyranny of other criminals, without Arms???

        • Some states give a full restoration of right sometime period after a person has completed all of the terms of their sentence. Some do not. I am in Texas and they used to give a full pardon 5 years after a person discharged their sentence if they were convicted prior to September of 1977. They don’t do anything to restore rights today except voting rights.

        • @Chris,

          “…paid your debt to society.”

          That’s the core issue, IMHO. For the vast majority of offenses (other than, say, severe capital examples such as intentional murder, kidnapping, etc.), a person’s rights should be fully restored after the period of detainment or community service is concluded. Otherwise, the “debt” is still considered by Guv as owed…often indefinitely for the rest of one’s life as a result of maybe a single offense.

        • “Then once you are released from prison. All of your rights should be restored.”

          Agree. And while in prison, people are mandated to be place on a statewide registry of body parts. A person remains on the registry until all jail and probation requirements are met (however long that takes).

          The registry is an inventory of available parts (not just internal organs) for replacement by others in need (the parts cost nothing, but the labor to make parts available for transport and shipping would be covered by taxpayers).

          I think China is already the leading nation for this protocol.

        • Considering how people convicted of a crime have felt and understand the full weight that the government can bear down on someone with even if it was justified I can understand them being more civically involved than most and see no harm in it. I don’t recall a section in the Constitution that says that being convicted of a serious crime strips you of civil and constitutional rights.

        • “I don’t recall a section in the Constitution that says that being convicted of a serious crime strips you of civil and constitutional rights.”

          Oh, yes it does. It’s the part that says something like “…unless convicted of a crime and serving a sentence”

          Some of your civil rights are suspended while you are incarcerated…

  2. Ya just know that California is gonna tee up an appeal. Their whole thing is that no one has a second amendment right, they have even said as much in the past, that its a ‘privilege’ they control and they have even said as much in the past.

    California is one of those states where the U.S. Constitution, in effect, ceases to exist.

  3. In CA they will take your 2A Right away for removing the tag on a mattress, and they won’t give it back because they are deranged Gun Control worshipping democRats.

  4. If California were to take away constitutional rights of people who have had their non-violent felonies dismissed there would be a lot of elected officials and state employees and residents in California without constitutional rights.

  5. Murderers, kidnappers, arsonists…serious felons should be executed so we don’t need this conversation to happen? It’s prison as a rehab that is foolish and immoral, other criminals should work on road gangs and brush clearing until every penny of compensation is paid to the victims. No need for sentences, just minimum wage…when they finish they are released, probably take much longer than liberal judges sentences. Punishment, not rehabilitation… eliminate recidivism by suffering MORE than their victims for longer.

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