California imposes a 10-day waiting period before gun owners can take possession of a newly-purchased firearm, even for those who currently own guns and have one of the Golden State’s haphazardly-issued carry licenses. In December, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California’s 10-day waiting period, claiming that a right delayed is not unreasonably denied.
The Judges argued: “Before the age of superstores and superhighways, most folks could not expect to take possession of a firearm immediately…. Our 18th and 19th century forebears knew nothing about electronic transmissions,” then immediately demonstrated how much they missed the point by noting, “Delays of a week or more were not the product of governmental regulations….”
Last week, the 9th Circuit rebuffed a request for a rehearing made by plaintiffs CalGuns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation. CalGuns has decided to play for all the marbles, and is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling.
In its decision to ignore the trial court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law as well as longstanding principles of appellate review, and now in its refusal to correct the 3-judge panel decision’s manifest errors in all regards, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has made it crystal clear that it has no intention of following the Supreme Court’s precedent and protecting Second Amendment rights from unconstitutional, burdensome, and irrational laws.
Given its record here and in previous cases like Peruta v. San Diego, the Ninth Circuit’s interest in en banc re-hearings is apparently limited to only those cases in which the 3-judge panel decision comes down on the side of individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and then only so that it can reverse those pro-freedom decisions.
We maintain that the Ninth Circuit’s panel opinion was patently wrong as a matter of law. Not only did the panel incorrectly decide the Second Amendment issues in favor of the State of California, but in doing so it ignored important legal rules that govern the review of a lower court’s judgment after a trial.
By refusing to correct the panel’s decision here, the Ninth Circuit has dared the Supreme Court to overturn them or bind tens of millions of law-abiding people to the tyrannies imposed on them and their right to keep and bear arms by the State of California and other similarly-hostile governments.
It is our intention to petition the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s wholly-improper decision in this case.
Will the Supreme Court agree to take the case? That’s an open question. In recent years the Court has been reluctant to hear cases involving the right to keep and bear arms, prompting Justice Thomas to accuse his brethren of “relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right.” It’s unclear whether or not that will change, even with Justice Gorsuch now on the Court.
A petitioner must convince four of the nine Justices to hear a case, and unless Scalia was one of the two Justices in the Heller who’s been blackballing 2A cases (highly unlikely, given that he joined Thomas’ dissent quoted above,) that calculus hasn’t really changed.