Gun Rights Groups Sue State of California Over Ban on ‘Common Use’ Firearms

springfield hellcat sig sauer P365

Neither of these popular pistols are on the California handgun roster. But they’re for sale in the other 49 states. (Jeremy S. for TTAG)

From the Second Amendment Foundation . . .

The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today filed a federal lawsuit against the State of California in a challenge of its recently-expanded ban via its so-called “Roster” laws.

Joining SAF and CCRKBA are the Firearms Policy Coalition and San Diego County Gun Owners along with two private businesses and nearly a dozen individuals. Named as defendants are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Luis Lopez, director of the state Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms, in their official capacities. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Raymond M. DiGuiseppe of Southport, NC and Michael P. Sousa of San Diego. The case is known as Renna, et.al. v. Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et.al.

Under California’s “Roster” scheme, law-abiding Golden State citizens are prevented from buying and, or self-building thousands of handgun models that are available anywhere else in the country. Under the state’s “Unsafe Handgun Act,” the state can arbitrarily ban handguns that are perfectly legal to own anywhere outside of California. Plaintiffs’ attorneys contend this is an unconstitutional ban.

“It is clear that the intent of California’s anti-gun lawmakers is to ban more and more protected arms through increasingly restrictive legislation,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This expanded handgun ban scheme cannot go without challenge. We look forward to prevailing in this case and winning Second Amendment rights one lawsuit at a time.”

“In Heller the U.S. Supreme Court provided a simple test: if an arm is bearable and in common use for lawful purposes, it is prima facie protected under the Second Amendment, period,” FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut added. “The handguns California prevents law-abiding people from purchasing and making themselves are protected arms.”

That analysis prevailed in the case of Duncan v. Becerra, where the Court found California’s ban on common firearm magazines to violate the Second Amendment and is currently being argued in another SAF lawsuit, the closely-related challenge to California’s Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act, Miller, et. al. v. Becerra et.al. Miller is set for an accelerated bench trial in January 2021.

“The Legislature has created a regulatory scheme that prevents people from buying handguns that are widely available and popular in the free market outside of the State,” noted FPC President Brandon Combs. “California’s new and expanded handgun ban is unconstitutional because it prevents law-abiding people from purchasing the common, modern firearms they have a right to under our Constitution. Just like the State cannot prohibit people from buying the political books of their choice, different versions of religious texts, or computers with technological and commercial developments better suited for publishing speech, it cannot ban the sale and self-manufacture of these constitutionally protected handguns.”

 

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 I Haz A Question says:

    If they’re so unsafe, why are LEOs exempt and able to purchase whatever they want for personal use? Does an “unsafe” gun suddenly gain magical healing safety powers when being held by a cop here in CA? Or if it travels across the state boundary into neighboring NV or AZ?

    Why, AG Becerra, is that nice new gun I want declared to be dangerous in my hands while used here within my home area?

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      …or going deeper into the weeds, riddle me this:

      Why does CA law see my older handguns as being allowed (I inherited them long ago before our laws required safe roster compliance), but I’m not allowed to buy a duplicate today? You know…two is one, one is none, so I just want to have a duplicate for a backup or even spare parts? What?…that first one is permissible, but the second one is legally dangerous? Because reasons?

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        As long as the modern itertion of that old gun is still being manufactured without any “material changes” it should remain on the roster as long as the manufacturer decides to keep it there.. Unfortunately, California has a rather expansive definition of “material,” which Ruger found out to its chagrin when it changed a single part from forged to MIM and California banned it. Similarly, colt opened a new plant for its 1911s, andas they were now CNC machined instead of by hand, all of its pistols were banned. Which is why Glock still makes Gen 3s for sale in California,because its later models cannot be sold here.

        1. avatar Wedge259 says:

          I’m sure CA sees that as a feature, not a bug.

        2. avatar Mark H says:

          Dan Wesson maintains the Pointman without front grip checkering for California, because California considers the newer version with 25 lpi checkering a different model.

          Unconstitutional 3-ways:
          1 – Arbitrary and capricious
          2 – 2nd amendment
          3 – 14th (equal protection)

          The fact that LEOs can buy off list is prima face evidence that the law is pure animus toward the RKBA.

    2. avatar enuf says:

      Two possibilities:

      1. Police have a magical protective spell provided by covens of caring, Blue Lives Matter compassionate witches. They cast spells to help police be safe with these firearm models that are otherwise far too much to handle for us mere civilian non-magical human creatures.

      ***OR***

      2. The State o California is full of Hoplophobic Shit.

      1. avatar Debbie W. says:

        enuf…you contributed to and you voted for Jim Crow Gun Control joe biden and CA demoCrap…You really do need mental help.

      2. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

        Your guy won, enuf! Not just sit back, shut up, and prepare to be chained, loaded on a cattle car, and interned somewhere in the Mojave. You voted for it!

        1. avatar enuf says:

          Incorrect. I had no candidate, no “guy” in the race. I had a poison pill option to try and remove the Traitor Trump from his ongoing stain upon our Republic.

          The disease of the Trump Cult and the madman at the top of it was far worse, far more dangerous to the security and future United States than some elderly liberal with a lifetime history of being moderate and compromising with the right wing to get shit done.

          If you did not want this to happen then you should have heeded the advice of so many who warned quite loudly, back in 2015/2016, what nominating Trump would lead to.

        2. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          Whoa, whoa, whoa!!!!!

          It’s not over until the BBW sings. There’s more weirdness with ballots this election than in a History Channel show about aliens. There is more stuff that doesn’t add up than in a 4th track math class.

          Stop saying Biden won and wait for the court cases, challenges and recounts to get done.

        3. avatar enuf says:

          Crimson Dude,

          Biden has 4.9 million more votes.
          Fox News has Biden at 290 Electoral Votes.

          Trump lost because he is a bad person, not a conservative and a con artist. The sooner you guys come to terms with this fact the better.

          Next is to come up with sane candidates. Not nut cases, not traitors to the Republic. You will need some in 2022, that comes first. Then there’s 2024, if you don’t get off this Trump Train soon, you will not be ready for the next election.

        4. avatar Dan says:

          Trump 2024-2032
          Trump Jr. 2032-2040
          Ivanka 2040-2048
          Baron 2048-2056
          Trump’s cryogenically frozen head 2056-2064

      3. avatar C S says:

        3. They’re just following Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

        1. avatar John Memoli says:

          You obviously know nothing of history and are just using those names to make a weak and incompetent insult.

        2. avatar C.S. says:

          Go ahead and enlighten us with your knowledge, I’m not the one flaunting the law.

          “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    3. avatar BOBO says:

      this right here…I always wanted to see a lawsuit of a cop using an off roster gun that is ‘unsafe’ and hurting or killing someone and get the dept sued into the dirt or loose all the dept’s cash trying to defend that BS law

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        I’d assume a majority of police departments are issuing “unsafe” guns that aren’t on the roster. It seems ripe for lawsuits.

  2. avatar aaa says:

    Didn’t we already lose a lawsuit about the roster? Wouldn’t that be precedent?

    How will this turn out differently unless SCOTUS weighs in?

    1. avatar Marshall says:

      Bingo! ^! This is the point.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      They’re hoping for SCOTUS to step in and that the recent changes will yield a positive result.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        You mean the court with Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, Roberts and 6 other Democrats on it?

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          I said they’re hoping. I didn’t say I think it’ll succeed.

          Although it might. The roster is just the kind of useless law that might be struck down as a bone to the 2nd while ignoring issues like prohibited carry, AWBs, mag limits, etc.

      2. avatar Roger J says:

        You do know the 9th circus has a bunch of new Trump Judges? Not a majority but a good start.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          It plays out the same regardless. One reasonable judge makes a decision based on the Constitution and then the defendants appeal it en bank until they find a level of court willing to strike it down. Then (heretofore) SCOTUS denies cert.

    3. avatar rt66paul says:

      The rules have changed for the worse. According to the new rules, when a gun is on the market that can stamp the spent round, it will be added to the roster, but 3 will be taken of the list.
      All this will do is raise the price of C&R handguns, since they have to allow them.

    4. avatar TheAnonymousLawyer says:

      There is no precedent/rule that prevents you from bringing new claims against what you feel is an unjust law/precedent. Res Judicata only applies to the specific parties in that lawsuit… so, as long as we get a new plaintiff, we are allowed to raise the same issue basically indefinitely in federal court as long as we have a good-faith argument that we are fighting an unjust law/ruling. For example, Peruta would not be able to bring his case again, but we could get another plaintiff with the same issue and they could freely bring functionally the same case, etc. If we were barred from repeatedly challenging bad law in court based on precedent, then we would still have terrible laws like separate but equal.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “There is no precedent/rule that prevents you from bringing new claims against what you feel is an unjust law/precedent.”

        Yup, that’s the playbook the anti-tobacco organizations used against the tobacco industries. Decades ago, tobacco lawsuits against tobacco companies were thrown out of court on a regular basis. How it was considered a hilarious joke to even consider suing them.

        And then, something happened. The political balance of the courts changed, and cases started getting heard. Eventually, they won.

        You can bet your ass that’s the playbook they want to use against gun rights…

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          That’s part of it but smoking had two problems, it was proven to cause disease and cost money and it had no firm base in the constitution like self defense.

          If they succeed in a ban and confiscation drive they hope to tie it up for a few years in court. Thus allowing them to persecute and prosecute.

          They ignore riots and looting but a federal law banning guns and ordering surrender would be top.if their enforcement list. I wouldn’t want to be LE now or then and half to implement it.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…it had no firm base in the constitution like self defense.”

          The constitution forms no basis for any of our rights. The constitution announces those rights which the people permit government to regulate, and clearly prohibits government from interfering otherwise.

          Just as there is no explicit right to smoke, neither is there an explicit right to eat.

        3. avatar TheAnonymousLawyer says:

          It is the playbook both sides use because it is smart to do so. We will keep sueing to try to force states like CA and NY to comply with the 2nd Amendment, and they will keep sueing to try to restrict that right.

    5. avatar Optimistic Engineer says:

      Exactly. The prior lost case wasn’t (supposedly, IANAL) well written for SCOTUS.

  3. avatar enuf says:

    Hopefully a new lawsuit will find some path not attempted before to make the challenge, and climb the appeals ladder to a new and friendlier Supreme Court.

  4. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

    According to California, the political animals and a few of the citizens who are voting for the political animals, everything causes cancer and is dangerous. Unless that item or substance is a recreational drug.

    The handgun roster is just another way to suppress legal firearm ownership and should have been never approved. But we live in a world where some live only to suppress others.

  5. avatar WhoGivesAf*** says:

    Won’t matter. Biden is going to ban all SEMI-AUTO Rifles and tax ammo, handguns and mag purchases like they do Suppressors. $200.00 tax stamp for any gun or magazine. Yes $200.00 for a $30.00 mag. With 10 rd limit and you’ll have to register all of it. So you buy a $300.00 handgun +$200.00 tax stamp fee, Extra mag $30.00+$200.00 tax stamp fee then you register that weapon. $730.00 + whatever registration fee.

    1. avatar John R says:

      You are delusional.

      1. avatar FB says:

        Ok guys, let’s not underplay the idea they can commit a complete semi-auto long gun confiscation. It has happened before it can happen again. We just potentially lost the presidential election due to the democrats cheating the system and they have all the major big tech companies helping them.
        Once they are in power, what makes everyone think they will not do it again to steal the senate during the midterm elections.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah just like Obama, right?

      oh wait, that didn’t happen.

    3. avatar Ron says:

      I think you need turn off the monitor, put the phone down, and step outside for a few minuets.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        How a waltz to go with that minuet.?

    4. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “So you buy a $300.00 handgun +$200.00 tax stamp fee, Extra mag $30.00+$200.00 tax stamp fee then you register that weapon. $730.00 + whatever registration fee.”

      SCOTUS will strike that down the same way the declared a ‘poll tax’ was unconstitutional.

      You cannot tax a citizen for exercising a civil right…

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “You cannot tax a citizen for exercising a civil right…”

        Wonder how it is background check fees, CCW permit fees, any regulatory fee can be applied regarding purchasing (sales tax, if not different from other items, is not a fee a right), owning, transfering, carrying a firearm can stand?

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          The very same way Washinton, DC charges fees for rallies held on the Mall.

          To me, that’s another one to attack…

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The very same way Washinton, DC charges fees for rallies held on the Mall.”

          Unfortunately, that one can be quickly changed to a “security deposit against damage” (which there always will be, as DC will decide what “damage” consists of).

      2. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

        Except you’re not making a purchase when you vote. I will always maintain that 2nd Amendment rights cannot reliably be directly compared with other rights for the simple reason that, unlike with the others, 2nd Amendment rights require engagement in commerce in order for the vast majority of Americans to exercise them.

      3. avatar FB says:

        Doesn’t matter if it’s our constitutional right. Unfortunately, Biden/Harris will push for it. It’s a done deal if we lose the Senate in the midterms. They will cheat, steal, and murder their way into it as they did with POTUS.

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Bit of a pessimist thing you got going on there.

    5. avatar Mastro says:

      They would have to overturn Heller to put such a restrictive tax on handguns. Might happen- but not until the SCOTUS goes Left- 10+ years

      Long guns- possible.

    6. avatar Anymouse says:

      That’s only a possibility if the Dems win both Georgia Senate runoffs, kill the filibuster, and pass an law amending the NFA. The “blue wave” didn’t happen, so the Dems don’t hold all the levers of power. Without a mandate, they’re treading precariously if they act as if they do and start abusing power. They could easily lose enough House seats if they push through a radical left agenda.

  6. avatar Sam I Am says:

    The banned guns ARE NOT in “common use”…they are banned, and therefore not it use commonly. Tradition, history and precedent are the standards for decisions, not whether the words in the Constitution mean what they say.

    If some law or regulation is unconstitutional long enough, it de facto becomes constitutional. Get it?

    1. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

      Yeah, I think we may just be on the edge of having SCOTUS walk that one back. It mostly existed to get left of center juges to sign on.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Common use doesn’t stop at the CA state line.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        My comment was not specific to Californication, but to the legal concept of “common use” (which is not a term in the constitution, at all). The SC created the test of “common use”, which is de facto creating a law. At the founding, the Puckle Gun* was not in common use, but “legal”, anyway (and it was also semi-automatic – one “pull” of the trigger, one shot).

        *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPC7KiYDshw

        1. avatar Dave G. says:

          Sam:
          To call the Puckle gun semiautomatic is ridiculous. The Puckle gun was a primitive revolver mounted on a tripod. For each shot the gunner had to: a.) manually loosen the cylinder screw-clamp via a crank handle, b.) rotate the cylinder by hand to bring the next chamber into battery, c.) manually tighten the cylinder screw-clamp, d.) manually prime the FLINTLOCK, and e.) then pull the trigger.

          If you don’t believe me, read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_gun

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “To call the Puckle gun semiautomatic is ridiculous. ”

          One pull-one shot is a common way of distinguishing full auto from full semi-auto. I used the term “semi-auto” as a spoof on gun-grabbers. In actuality, the Puckle was a repeating arm.

          The point of the entire comment was that uncommon arms were covered by the Second Amendment, way back when. “Common use” is trick, designed to permit continuous government interference with RTKBA. Any one off, custom made gun could be considered to not be in “common use”, thus permitting government to ban its existence/use, for instance a “smart gun” prototype.

    3. avatar Mark H says:

      “Common use” is not in the Heller Decision. It is mentioned in the “dicta” of Heller, which is the accompanying materials that lay out the courts thinking about how they reached their decision.

      The court in the dicta reasoned that if something is in common use, and bearable, then it is presumptively protected without having to reason any further.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Common use” is not in the Heller Decision. It is mentioned in the “dicta” of Heller, which is the accompanying materials that lay out the courts thinking about how they reached their decision.”

        Dicta are not off limits for use as justification for a different decision, pro or con. Dicta represent both an opening and a limitation. “Common Use” in defense of a firearm restriction is not helpful in defending the Second Amendment. Combined with “histroy, tradition and precedent”, “Common Use” will become an obstacle. When the SC explains a ruling, the explanation itself becomes grounds for extending the reasoning into other cases.

        “Reasonable restrictions” was not in Heller, either, but has served to bolster arguments in favor of restrictions. In explaining the reasoning in Heller, “Common use” became a useful “test” in resolving issues around what goverment may accomplish in justifying further, new, restrictions.

  7. avatar Prndll says:

    The only thing I see this doing is creating anti-gun lobby talking points. There are too many people in California that do not want guns anywhere around at all. As long as the majority of people there are like that, they will always vote anti-gun officials into office. It’s the same thing with New York. Take a good look at this years election map.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      It’s a shame so many hopolophobes exist. The constitution is supposed to make them suck it up but they vote for people who ignore the constitution.
      Abortion was codified into protected activity and I have to accept that despite it not being enshrined anywhere in the BOR or any other amendment.

      They are selective in their outrage and reverence to our constitution and court rulings. Heller is either ignored or reinterpreted to their liking. Should the court reverse Roe v Wade or their gay marriage rulings they will first flip out then ignore that too.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Abortion was codified into protected activity and I have to accept that despite it not being enshrined anywhere in the BOR or any other amendment.”

        The constitution and BOR are not a listing of all the rights held by humans. Thus, according to the constitution, all rights not listed in the constitution are held by, and legal property of, the people who approved the constitution – the populace at large.

        The SC manufactured a power delegated to the federal government.

  8. avatar Shawn says:

    Why bother? All semi auto handguns, rifles and shotguns will be totally banned with a mandatory turn in followed by door to door confiscation and the mandated extermination of all United States citizens who possess any guns as well as the mandated extermination of every single solitary United state citizens that opposes the extermination of all gun owners. And don’t forget the mandated extermination of every single United States citizen that voted for Trump, is a registered Republican and does not support the democrats as well as the extermination of every single solitary United States citizen that oppose the extermination of all gun owners, Trump voters and registered Republicans.

    It will be found to be constitutional by a packed Supreme Court which will be packed by a 51-50 majority in the senate.

    If this goes to SCOTUS it will be more of the same: they will not take the case or side with the state.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Are you just pasting the same screed under different names?

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Not really Shawn. There is another election in 2 years and plenty of politicians want to keep their jobs. The noisy ones are in safe seats and can talk all they want about whatever it is they say.

      1. avatar SAFVet says:

        Assuming that “they” don’t rig it so that there can’t/won’t be another election….

        1. avatar Shawn says:

          They will. After all when they mandate the extermination of all Trump supporters and gun owners and the backlash happens how else do they expect to “win“?

      2. avatar GS650G says:

        You and Shawn probably have bunkers in the woods.
        Relax, have a drink.

  9. avatar SK Skeeter says:

    First of all an AR-15 in civilian hands is an ‘assault weapon’. In a state approved actor’s hands it a ‘patrol carbine’.

    When the flag goes up the officers will use their ‘patrol carbines’ to remove illegal ‘assualt weapons’ from our streets. For the children of course.

    No one here should rest on their laurels. A politician has one job; to get reelected. Trust none of Congress critters or your fellow Americans to do the right thing. Get out, vote early (sarc) and vote often (//sarc).

    As long as the left controls the media and entertainment. We have keep our efforts up and support 2nd whenever, where ever and how ever we can.

  10. avatar bob says:

    ’bout time.

  11. avatar fekayi says:

    When the flag goes up the officers will use their ‘patrol carbines’ to remove illegal ‘assualt weapons’ from our streets. For the children of course.

    WWW,BONANZU,COM

  12. avatar Dude says:

    “I support a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles (“assault weapons”) and high-capacity magazines to the general public.”

    https://electjon.com/policy/

    U.S. Senate vote in GA will be one to watch.

  13. avatar guitarsampsandguns says:

    All those laws are so clearly unconstitutional. They should have been struck down long ago. Personal feelings towards liking such laws by some people, pretending they are constitutional, or making dishonest rationalizations to keep them such laws doesn’t make them constitutional.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “All those laws are so clearly unconstitutional.”

      Despite our academically correct proclamations, the federal courts determine what is and isn’t, We accept those rulings, challenge them in federal court, or simply defy them. If “the law” was cut and dried, we wouldn’t need lawyers.

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