Federal Judge: Lawsuit Over California Online Gun Registration Failures Can Go Forward

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

What do you call it when a new law requires you to register some of your firearms, but the state fails to provide a working system to do that? You call it “California government.”

Last year, a new law went into effect, requiring Golden State gun owners with bullet button “assault weapons” to register them with the state. Because “gun safety” or something.

Anyway, gun owners had to complete the registration process by July 1, 2018. There was only one problem. The registration web site that the state built for gun owners was apparently built by the same kind of galaxy brains who were the architects of the ObamaCare web site. In other words, it didn’t work.

See our posts on the frustration felt by left coast gun owners who tried to comply here and here.

The programming failures resulted in a number of gun owners who were unable to comply with the registration requirement before the deadline. As a result, a lawsuit was filed over the system failures against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra by a group of gun rights org including the Second Amendment Foundation, Calguns, The Firearms Policy Coalition and the Firearms Policy Foundation.

Becerra moved to dismiss the lawsuit, because working in government means never having to say you’re sorry…or admit that you’re utterly incompetent. But today, a US District Judge ruled that the lawsuit can go forward.

Here’s the Second Amendment Foundation’s press release announcing the good news . . .

BELLEVUE, WA – A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the California Department of Justice and Attorney General Xavier Becerra over the state’s failure and refusal to establish a properly functioning internet-based firearms registration system that was mandated by law.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England, Jr., a George Bush appointee, denied the motion, noting in his 10-page ruling that, “the Supreme Court specifically recognized that a violation of procedural due process occurs when ‘it is the state system itself that destroys a complainant’s property interest, by operation of law,’ whether the state’s action “is taken through negligence, maliciousness or otherwise.”

“We said at the start of this legal action and we still maintain that the state’s system was like a bad version of ‘Catch-22’,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The government required registration by a certain deadline, but the online registration failed and people couldn’t register. It’s simply not acceptable when the government mandates something and then doesn’t provide the tools for the public to comply, making them criminally liable and subject to firearms confiscation.”

Judge England noted in his ruling, “While Defendants appear to blame the individual Plaintiffs for waiting until the last minute to attempt to register their firearms (seven waited until the last two days of the online registration period), the fact that Defendants’ website used a dramatic ‘countdown clock’ showing the number of weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds elapsing until the deadline at least arguably supported a belief that registrations could be both processed and accepted ‘until literally the last second of the registration period.’ Particularly when coupled with the documented systemic failures outlined above, the countdown clock also supports an inference of deliberate indifference.

SAF is joined in the case by the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Madison Society Foundation and seven individual plaintiffs.

“Attorney General Becerra and his DOJ had one job to do: Provide a functional system for gun owners to use in registering their eligible firearms,” added Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs. “But instead of doing their jobs, they created a huge new mess for law enforcement and put innocent people and lawfully-owned property at serious risk.”

“The state of California couldn’t even build a working system to respect gun owners’ rights,” noted Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman.

The case, known as Sharp v. Becerra was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

comments

  1. avatar possum"they can take your badzooka,I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

    Register this, hard and dry.

  2. avatar Mark N. says:

    The failure of the system was a feature, not a bug. This AG, just like our last one (Kamala Harris) absolutely hates guns. Not only was the system itself buggy and prone to crashing, there were not enough people to process applications, and the regulations that implemenbte3d the system included onerous restrictions, including downloaded photographs of both sides of the gun and close ups of individual parts. It was–and was intended to be, many of us believe–a total CF.

    I am so happy I opted out and converted my rifle to “featureless.” [Which reminds me. I still need to dump the funky “fin grip” and get a proper Thordsen stock.]

    1. avatar DaveDetroit says:

      Correction: Progressives are perfectly fine with guns used to enforce increasingly intrusive laws on the average citizen. Note that guns are regularly used by police in their duties enforcing all kinds of nit-picky laws in progressive cities- laws which have dramatically expanded police altercations and deaths. You just don’t see this kind of government on citizen violence in conservative areas which are arguably “more free”, which equates to “less regulated”.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        As a cop who has had to interact with plenty of dumb progressives, I disagree… they are just as uncomfortable with cops having guns. They just know they can’t deal with that yet (although some cities with commie councils try and prevent cops from carrying anything but pistols).

        1. avatar possum,"they can take your badzooka,I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

          I would not want to be a Cop, what a damned if you do, damned if you dont job. , , , And an other thing( lol) us citizens should start giving the “cops” ( not LEO’s) a little more respect. The other day I thanked a Cop for unlocking my neighbors car door, ” You just made somebody very happy, Thank you.” He just looked at me like I was nutz, Well I might be, but I’ve got papers saying I can be prosecuted in court, but that’s besides the point. I’d like to see a cohesive relationship between Cops, (not LEO’s) and lawabiding citizens , (how’s a Cop to know? good faith gets you killed) Because when the push comes to shove, those Cops are going to be front line. , XRay9 Possum trot over and out.

        2. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

          I don’t have a problem with LE in general, as they do what most folks wouldn’t want to do, like the dog catcher, rounding up the predatory dogs that pack up and on occasion, attack the citizens.

          But their actions had better be above board…

        3. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          The usual pattern in communist takeovers is that ordinary civil law enforcement gets phased out and replaced by ideologically pure secret police. From it’s earliest inception communism was not at all concerned with law or crime, just with eliminating it’s enemies.

        4. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

          “The usual pattern in communist takeovers is that ordinary civil law enforcement gets phased out and replaced by ideologically pure secret police.”

          Remember when Obama first took power, and talked about wanting an alternative to the police, funded at the same level as the police?

          I wish I knew the exact quote…

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Wondering when the micro stamping case will get federal review. Californication Supreme Court ruled that a law that cannot be complied with is valid, and enforceable. This case seems to have the federal court stating that if the state demands a process that cannot perform its function, the plaintiff has an action at the federal level.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Trump has been appointing justices to the 9th. Much better him than hillary.

    1. avatar M1Lou says:

      Yes, and the makeup of the courts are significantly better than they were two years ago. There is a chance he could flip it to the conservative side so it’s stops being a clown world circus.

    2. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

      “Trump has been appointing justices to the 9th. Much better him than hillary.”

      That point seems to be totally lost on some POTG.

      Had she won, Scalia and Kennedy would have been replaced with the likes of Kagen and Sotamayor, skewing the balance of the court to 6 ‘Progressives’ and 3 somewhat-reliable conservative. To say nothing about the breathing room it would have provided for the elderly Leftists to retire and be refreshed with young Leftists that would serve for decades.

      A 6-3 Leftist balance would have been the end of gun rights. Heller-McDonald would have been overturned with glee. Every whack-job ‘common sense’ gun law would have been declared constitutional. Every semi-auto would be confiscated, er, ‘ bought back’ to be destroyed like ‘Australian-style’ common-sense gun control.

      It’s not inconceivable that CW2 could have broken out in the near future had Hillary won…

      1. avatar possum" they can take your badzooka,I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

        Hilorally would have been the catalyst. Just as it was, so it is now, but they just keep on chipping, chipping away until there’s no juke box hero’s , to save the day

      2. avatar Hank says:

        I really think Trump effect is simply delaying the war. I’m not just regurgitating the typical CW2 trope, I’m pretty well versed in history and politics and the US is on a serious road to a divisive and bloody conflict. I actually compare it to Europe before WW1. It’s a war that appears pretty unnecessary, yet at the same time completely unavoidable. You have a large continent that is economically, militarily, and technologically, remarkably stable. However it is increasingly politically and culturally volatile. I read a lot that it’ll never happen, both sides talk tough but ultimately they’re too fat, to comfortable, etc. But I disagree. Physically comfortable societies crumble into chaos and war too, given the right circumstances. And I’ll also point out that none of us will be “too comfortable” too fight if the leftists truly attain the power they want. They won’t just be coming after your guns. They’ll want to take your retirement too. To pay for reparations. They’ll take your vehicle and owned property for violating climate laws and because other people deserve it more. Your paycheck and insurance will be gone. You’ll owe the government at a certain age so that each 25 year old can receive a free 10,000$. (An actual movement in Great Britain) . When all that is on the table, many people will be just fine with foregoing the comforts of modern life for combat.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I’m too old to fight in another war. Can I just shoot a couple of proggies and then go home?

        2. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

          We need the harmless-looking fuzzy grandfather types to carry out the vicious sapper attacks and then melt back into the crowd…

          *snicker* 😉

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I agree, Hank.

          Trump was a safety valve and I don’t think that is the best thing in the long run. Conflict is coming and liberty is less likely to win out each generation removed from this country’s founding. Better sooner than later. Tyranny wins the long game.

          “god forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. the people cannot be all, & always, well informed. the past which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive; if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. we have had 13. states independant 11. years. there has been one rebellion. that comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. what country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson

      3. avatar LazrBeam says:

        To be completely candid, the makeup of the SCOTUS, and other Federal judicial appointments, was the bottom line for me going with President Trump over Hilliary. Certainly, there were other reasons as well but the judiciary was the main driver.

      4. avatar John in Ohio says:

        “It’s not inconceivable that CW2 could have broken out in the near future had Hillary won…”

        You make that sound like a bad thing.

        1. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

          It’s really *messy*, John…

    3. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Be that as it may,the man does not have a base/working understanding of the Constitution as written,his words have proven that .

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Name some one that has a chance to beat the dems in 2020.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Name some one that has a chance to beat the dems in 2020.”

          And….

          Name some one that has a chance to beat the dems in 2024.

    4. avatar barnbwt says:

      True enough (though one was rabidly anti-gun IIRC). I still think we’d be better served by him following through on his threat to break up the circuit in order to limit its retardedly outsized influence.

  5. avatar GunnyGene says:

    There is no CA govt. There is only the perpetual CA 3 ring circus, and sideshows which includes a host of very weird semi-people, and assorted something or others.

  6. avatar Thixotropic says:

    Time for insurrection?

    THIS is what the 2nd Amendment was written for. Resisting an Unconstitutional Repressive Govt. by the unelected.

    1. avatar possum" they can take your badzooka, I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

      Shhhh, talk like that will get you Red Flagged. , , , , , Embrace The Pain, Mortal

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      If the government is obeying the Constitution, and there’s an armed movement against it, it’s an insurrection. Not good.

      If the government is DISOBEYING the Constitution and acting unlawfully, and the people rise up, it’s a justifiable rebellion.

      1. avatar route66paul says:

        It is only justifiable if the winner says so.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “It is only justifiable if the winner says so.”

          Because the winner writes the history.

  7. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    It was a plot. They got caught! Now they should pay, personally.

  8. avatar Ronald West says:

    The government has no right to force anyone that’s a law bidding person to turn in or report having any type of firearm other then a background check when purchased, anyway, glad to hear it’s not working. AMEN

    1. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

      “The government has no right to force anyone that’s a law bidding person to turn in or report having any type of firearm other then a background check when purchased…”

      Hell, no. Mandatory registration leads to eventual confiscation.

      If you are a law-abiding citizen, the government should have no say in what guns you buy or sell to another law-abiding citizen. Period. The point of the 2A is for the government to have no way of knowing what guns the citizens own. That’s a natural way to cool the jets of a tyrant who might want to grab the brass ring of power and enslave the citizens of this country with flowery speech promising a utopia of ‘fairness and equality’ that sounds so good to the ‘useful idiots’ who vote.

      Just, no…

      1. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

        Spider venom fcks with your head Man be careful

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Spider venom fuxxs with the whole body of a possum. There’s even pictures floating around the internet showing the spider dragging possums off.

        2. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

          And video, no less!

          It’s enough to drive a Possum to have nightmares every time he closes his beady marsupial eyes to sleep…

          *Wicked Evil Laugh* 😉

          (What would TTAG be without our Possum? A lot less fun, that’s for sure!)

  9. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    Our God given, natural rights, enshrined in the holy text of the United States Constitution, are sacred. Those that seek to undermine, usurp, ignore, erase and/or maliciously infringe upon any of those rights, particularly the Second Amendment, which ensures the legitimacy of all others…..must be designated as anti-American domestic terrorists. This must be deemed and prosecuted as the most heinous of possible crimes, with those found guilty, swiftly, publicly and mercilessly executed within 120 minutes of conviction.

  10. avatar John galt says:

    Demorat cities/ feces holding zones like San francisco don’t even want law enforcement.

    A friend of my son, big, strong, idealistic guy that hates criminals and just wanted to fight crime.

    Went to work for sf pd.

    After making several high profile arrests he has been put behind a desk because they WANT CRIME and you are a TOTAL MORON if you go there, work there, spend money there and you do not go armed.

    Look at the police they put on the street…….they put the smallest officers and the women on the street and the real crime fighters behind desks.

    They don’t even report the “real” nature and amount of what is really going on.

    And if you like sf,…,,,be sure kamilla gets on the ticket

  11. avatar John Galt says:

    You have a fifth amendment right to freely transfer your guns.

    Registration equals confiscation. ALWAYS. PERIOD!

    ‘F your “uncle”

  12. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Impose a registration requirement then make it impossible to fulfill?

    It’s almost like they wanted to identify the wrongthinkers then make them chargeable.

  13. avatar El Duderino says:

    Good. Same logic should be applied to the I-1639 idiocy in WA.

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