A federal judge handed gunowners a big win Monday, refusing to dismiss a lawsuit against a strict California gun law and indicating that the law likely was unconstitutional.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris had asked Federal District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to dismiss the suit against California’s 10-day waiting period but he refused, saying that Harris had “not presented sufficient evidence” to warrant a dismissal. He also said the law would not withstand the rigorous legal standard Harris was wanting.
Although the ruling was not directly on the law itself, it was a good indicator that Ishii was leaning toward overturning it as unconstitutional.
The Calguns Foundation had filed suit against the law, which requires citizens to wait 10 days before obtaining a gun they purchase. The foundation says it violates the Second Amendment.
“The fact that a federal judge saw these laws for what they are — baseless restraints on the exercise of a fundamental civil right — is monumental,” said Gene Hoffman, chairman of The Calguns Foundation. “California’s waiting period laws for those who own guns is not Constitutional and this order really underlines the point.”
Calguns is representing Jeff Silvester, a gunowner from Hanford, California.
“I have a license to carry a loaded firearm across the State,” Silvester said. “It is ridiculous that I have to wait another 10 days to pick up a new firearm when I’m standing there in the gun store lawfully carrying one the whole time.”
The case likely is headed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, regardless of how Ishii rules. Still, it was an “an exciting development in Second Amendment case law,” said Brandon Combs, executive director of The Calguns Foundation. Ishii was nominated by President Clinton.
“If our Constitution means what it says, then California’s gun waiting period laws have to be overturned and law-abiding people must be allowed to exercise their rights without irrational infringements,” Combs said.
America’s Toughest Gun Laws
The ruling came the same week that the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence released a report showing that California has the nation’s toughest gun control laws. In its last session the California legislature passed 18 gun control measures — some of which were too harsh even for Democratic governor Jerry Brown to sign. He signed 11 and vetoed seven, as Off The Grid News reported.
“The State of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including bans on military style assault rifles and high capacity ammunition magazines,” Brown noted. “I don’t believe this bill’s blanket ban on semiautomatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights.”
Ranking behind California in the top 10 were Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Illinois, Rhode Island and Delaware.