Ninth Circuit Upholds Bizarre California Gun Regulation

GunWell, we all knew it wouldn’t last. Weeks after two different Ninth Circuit panels surprisingly upheld Second Amendment rights by blocking California’s confiscation of large-capacity magazines and Hawaii’s ban on open carry, the nation’s most progressive circuit returned to form. In a ruling earlier this month, it upheld one of the most bizarre and nonsensical gun regulations in the nation. It did so by essentially ignoring the plain language of Heller and approving a legal regime that will naturally and inevitably lead to diminishing options for citizens who seek to lawfully exercise their constitutional right to self-defense.

Here are the basic facts. California’s Unsafe Handgun Act requires new handguns sold in the state to have three key safety features. First, new guns must have an indicator that shows when a round is loaded in the weapon’s chamber. Second, new guns must have a magazine-detachment mechanism that prevents the gun from discharging when a magazine is not in it. Finally, the third provision “requires new handguns to stamp microscopically the handgun’s make, model, and serial number onto each fired shell casing.”

The Unsafe Handgun Act is just as problematic as it sounds.

For one thing, to quote the majority opinion: “According to the [plaintiffs], no handguns were available in the United States that met the microstamping requirements. The record does not indicate whether and how these figures have changed over time.” (Emphasis added.) That means California was granting consumers permission to buy guns that didn’t exist on the market. …

Click here to read the full article from the National Review

San Francisco Court: 2nd Amendment Grants Right to Carry Guns Openly

Gun Open CarryAmericans have a constitutional right to carry guns openly outside the home, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Tuesday on an issue that has divided federal courts and is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 2-1 ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case from Hawaii may not last long — it was written by one of the court’s most conservative judges, Diarmuid O’Scannlain, whose previous decision striking down a California concealed-weapons law was overturned by the court’s liberal majority. But it highlights a Second Amendment issue the high court has sidestepped since 2008, when it ruled for the first time that the Constitution guarantees the right to possess a handgun at home for self-defense.

Supreme Court intervention in the open-carry issue appears likelier with the widening split among lower courts — three federal appeals courts have found no right to carry guns openly in public — and with the possible addition on the court of President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to succeed the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. As a federal appeals court judge, Kavanaugh has interpreted the Second Amendment broadly, saying in one dissenting opinion that it protects the right to own semiautomatic weapons.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s ruling potentially applies to gun laws in nine Western states covered by the Ninth Circuit, including California. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle

The Ninth Circuit Protects Gun Rights and Stops Confiscation

Ammunition1Every now and then the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — arguably the nation’s most progressive federal circuit — can offer up a legal surprise. Yesterday, it gave us a legal shock, when a divided panel of its judges affirmed last year’s federal district-court injunction temporarily blocking enforcement of California’s confiscatory ban on so-called large-capacity magazines.

Under California law, any person who possesses a legally purchased magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition must either remove the magazine from the state, sell it to a licensed firearm dealer, or hand it over to law enforcement. Those citizens who retained their magazines after the law went into effect risked a fine or up to one year’s imprisonment in county jail.

The district court’s 66-page opinion was a legal tour-de-force that not only dismantled California’s justifications for the ban, but also reiterated and reinforced the constitutional and historical basis for the right to keep and bear arms. As I wrote last year, this paragraph from the district-court opinion is nearly-perfect:

Violent gun use is a constitutionally-protected means for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals. The phrase “gun violence” may not be invoked as a talismanic incantation to justify any exercise of state power. Implicit in the concept of public safety is the right of law-abiding people to use firearms and the magazines that make them work to protect themselves, their families, their homes, and their state against all armed enemies, foreign and domestic. To borrow a phrase, it would indeed be ironic if, in the name of public safety and reducing gun violence, statutes were permitted to subvert the public’s Second Amendment rights — which may repel criminal gun violence and which ultimately ensure the safety of the Republic.

Lest anyone think that the Ninth Circuit has suddenly discovered the original meaning of the Second Amendment, its ruling upholding the district-court injunction was limited. It merely held that the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion when it temporarily blocked enforcement of the law. But despite the limited holding, there was encouraging rhetoric in the court’s ruling. …

Click here to read the full article from National Review.

Supreme Court denies challenge to California gun waiting period

In a blow to gun rights activists, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away a challenge to California’s 10-day waiting period for firearms purchases that is intended to guard against impulsive violence and suicides.

The court’s action underscored its continued reluctance to step into a national debate over gun control roiled by a series of mass shootings including one at a Florida school last week. One of the court’s staunchest conservatives, Justice Clarence Thomas, dissented from the decision to reject the case and accused his colleagues of showing contempt toward constitutional protections for gun rights.

The justices also declined to take up a separate gun case involving a National Rifle Association challenge to California’s refusal to lower fees on firearms sales and instead use some of the fee money to track down weapons owned illegally.

The gun rights groups and individual gun owners who challenged the waiting period had argued that it violated their right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. The challengers did not seek to invalidate the waiting period for everyone, just those who already owned guns and passed a background check. …

Click here to read the full article from Reuters.com

Wait Time for Concealed Carry in Riverside County: Two Years

03_Concealed_Carry_CC_Inner_PhotoThe wait time for a concealed carry permit in Riverside County, California, now sits at two years.

That means a law-abiding citizen who applies for a concealed permit out of fear for his life has to find a way to survive unarmed while waiting 24 months to receive a permit allowing him to carry a gun for self-defense.

According to the Reno Gazzette Journal, the wait time for applicants who apply for a concealed carry permit in Riverside County “has climbed from a few months to two years.” This means law-abiding citizens like 56-year-old Steve Perkio have to apply with the understanding that it will literally be years before they get a permit.

Perkio already has a non-resident permit outside of California, and that permit allows him to carry in 26 states across the country. But California refuses to recognize any permit but its own, which means Parkio’s out-of-state permit is not valid in his home state. And it also means Parkio is at the mercy of the criminal element while he waits two years for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office to approve his concealed carry application.

And it should be remembered that even after two years, the issuance of a permit does not rest solely on Parkio being a law-abiding citizen but on Parkio being able to demonstrate “good cause” for carrying a gun daily. So he may wait two years only to have the sheiff’s office arbitrarily reject his application.

News of the two year wait in Riverside County comes on top of the report that Los Angeles County has only issued 197 permits for its 10.2 million residents.  The discrepancy in the meager number of permits issued in a such a large population was uncovered by the California State Auditor. Moreover, the NRA-ILA observed that the Auditor found the “good cause” requirement was arbitrarily followed, if at all, in many of the instances where permits were issued.

This brings us back to the earlier point on Perkio, that even after waiting two years and being a law-abiding citizen he may be refused a permit unless he proves “good cause.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Top 10 Stupidest New Laws in California for 2017

california-flagI’m not in the habit of complaining at the outset of a column, but I’ve taken on a nearly impossible task — figuring out which, of the hundreds of new California laws about to go into effect, are the stupidest.

Don’t laugh. I’m serious.

It’s really, really hard to keep the list at 10 with hundreds of hare-brained schemes that became real laws.

After all, for far too long, the California Legislature has been a “conservative-free zone” — even though there were a handful of “Republicans” occupying seats and taking up space.

I’m going to list the new laws in order of their egregiousness to me, but I’m open to additions or wholesale re-ordering if you care to comment.

Given that Californians are facing 898 new laws going into effect on January 1st, 2017, there’s plenty to hate.

  1. Prop. 63: “2nd Amendment Nullification” Act.  Although various portions go into effect in various years — yes, they staggered implementation of this “critically needed reform,” some out to 2019 — this is the most sweeping assault on our long-cherished, God-given natural right as Americans to protect our lives and our freedom.  It requires you to pass a background check and pay for a permit to buy ammunition for the gun you may have just passed a background check to buy.  Yeah, that’ll stop criminals — who buy their guns and ammo in parking lots from other criminals. WooHoo! Next, it makes high-capacity magazine (any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds) illegal to possess — even if you bought it prior to the current ban and ownership was previously considered grandfathered.  This law should make it clear that the goal of the left is not “safety” — it’s control.
  2. SB880: “Bullet Button Ban.” For years, California Democrats have sought to ban a made-up classification of semi-auto rifles with “evil features” that they re-named “assault weapons” for propaganda purposes. Every year, California Democrats attempt to increase control over this “hated group” of guns — until they finally outright ban all semi-automatics.  This law will not do a single thing to further public safety, as the San Bernardino terrorist attack illustrated — determined mass murderers will simply ignore and work around all gun control laws — as if they are just words on paper. One last bit of irony: in a previous legislative session, this same bill was sponsored by none other than disgraced State Senator Leland Yee. If that name sounds familiar, you’re right. Leland Yee wanted to “protect” Californians from “assault weapons” on our streets — that is, until he was arrested for trafficking fully automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades in exchange for campaign contributions. He’s currently serving a five-year prison sentence.
  3. SB3: Minimum Wage Hike to $15/hour by 2020. As a result of a strong socialist push by unions and complicit governments — such as the union-controlled California legislature — businesses are looking to eliminate as many jobs as possible, investing in automation instead. When you combine this with unchecked illegal immigration — where you have an unlimited labor pool willing to work for sub-par wages under the table — the future for entry-level jobs and small business owners in California is bleak.
  4. AB1785 The “Hands Free” Law. This is another example of government gone wild. AB1785 prescribes driver behavior so severely that in and of itself, I believe it will cause more accidents — and more deaths. Not only must the phone be dash mounted — meaning you’ll have a permanent distraction right in front of you — but you may not text, take photos or video, or enter GPS destinations while driving. Fat chance of stopping those activities with a mere $20 fine. The bill does stipulate that “the only time a driver is allowed to touch the device is when he or she is activating or deactivating a “feature or function.” However, that process should only involve a “single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger,” according to the bill,” mynewsla.com reports. How about “hands off” my phone instead of an unenforceable “hands free” law?
  5. AB 1732: Single-User Restrooms. If you’ve ever had to go so badly that you used the opposite sex restroom at a gas station or Starbucks, then perhaps you think this law is needed. But do we really need another law regulating bathrooms? Some businesses have already put signs on their single-use restrooms designating use by either sex. And sometimes people just take it upon themselves. I can’t help but think this law is unnecessary and diminishes us as a society a little.
  6. SB 1383: Controlling Cow Flatulence. Not making this up. In spite of the fact that 53 California dairy farmers went bankrupt, moved out of state, or just closed down this year, the Marxist-Progressives are back at it again. Capture cow farts or suffer heavy fines.  CARB (CA Air Resources Board) suggests inserting a tube into the cow’s digestive system and venting into a backpack. Even liberals admit that laws like this, where government tries to control the uncontrollable, can have undesirable economic consequences. Lost jobs, lost industries, lost revenue. Stupid law.
  7. AB 857: Ghost Gun Ban.  Even if you manufacture your own gun — starting with an 80 percent receiver — that requires you to have special skills and tools to complete the machining, you must now register it and obtain a serial number from the California Department of Justice. The purpose of this law is simply to record your name and your firearm on a list for eventual confiscation. Once again, control — not public safety — is the goal.
  8. SB1322: Legalizing Child Prostitution. This law bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution. Now that is nuts. I understand the idea of trying to not punish the victim, but certainly granting judges discretion is better than legalizing and therefor “green-lighting” behavior that is so harmful to the individual child.
  9. Prop. 57:  Early Release for so-called Non-Violent Criminals. This was Governor Jerry Brown’s baby — the crown jewel of his prison reform initiatives. Among those offenses he considers “non-violent”: rape of an unconscious person; human trafficking involving sex acts with minors; and assault with a deadly weapon. Blogger Felicia Wilson summed it up well (original emphasis): “Call me crazy, but shouldn’t a crime that includes the word rape or assault be considered, I don’t know … violent?”
  10. AB 2466: Felons Voting. Low-Level felons serving sentences outside of state prison get to keep their right to vote. Hmm. Wonder which party this could possibly help? Just like the “illegal alien vote,” Democrats will have the felon vote locked down. This is simply about protecting their power and making it permanent.

When California Democrats promised to take to the streets to defend the rights of convicted felons, illegal aliens and welfare recipients, they weren’t kidding. If only they were as serious about cracking down on immigration cheats and violent criminals as they are about penalizing law-abiding citizens and gun owners, California would have more jobs, less crime — and might be a place people want to come to instead of fleeing.

Tim Donnelly is a Former California State Assemblyman. FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.donnelly.12/ Twitter: @PatriotNotPol 

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

CA Senate Approves Sweeping Gun-Control Measures

As reported by ABC News:

Democrats in the California Senate approved a wide-ranging series of gun control bills Thursday, reviving an effort to significantly tighten California’s already strict gun laws in the wake of last year’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

Lawmakers voted to outlaw the sale of assault weapons with easily detachable magazines and to require that people turn in magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. They also backed a variety of other measures aimed at restricting access to guns and ammunition or limiting the carnage they can inflict.

The effort drew a sharp rebuke from gun rights supporters who say squeezing lawful gun owners even further won’t make people safer.

It also laid bare tense differences in personality and strategy between senior California Democrats. Legislative leaders are rushing to head off a ballot measure advocated by Lt. Gov. Gavin Neapolwsom, a fellow Democrat, asking voters to enact many of the same policies. They worry the initiative will fail at the ballot box or …

Click here to read the full article

Latest Idea To Curb 2nd Amendment Gun Rights Won’t Fly

No-Fly-List

Image courtesy of minutemennews.com

It’s a great idea to ban terrorists and suspected terrorists from buying firearms, but the U.S. government’s “No Fly List” can’t be used to do it.

The problem is that the no-fly list is secret. The government won’t say who’s on it, or how they got on it, or how they can get off it.

“The U.S. government does not reveal whether a particular person is on or not on a watchlist,” the Department of Homeland Security explains on its website. “If the government revealed this information, terrorist organizations would be able to circumvent the watchlist’s purpose by determining in advance which of their members were likely to be questioned or detained.”

That means the use of the no-fly list for gun sales might actually be helpful to terrorists, but there’s an even more serious problem with the idea. It crumbles the foundation of all your constitutional rights: due process of law.

The U.S. Constitution twice guarantees due process of law to every person. It’s in the Fifth and 14th Amendments. But what does it mean, exactly?

At the time of the founding of the nation, “due process” meant the ordinary procedures of the law, the opposite of arbitrary power.

In our era, the U.S. Supreme Court has given “due process” a broader meaning. The term now encompasses a general right to fundamental fairness.

But by either definition, the government can’t deny a basic constitutional right to any person just by placing them on a secret government list.

The no-fly list is a subset of the U.S. government’s terrorist watchlist, which is administered by the FBI and the Justice Department in cooperation with the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State and Treasury, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to the DHS website, “Intelligence and law enforcement agencies nominate individuals for the watchlist based on established criteria.”

What criteria? Established by whom? We don’t know and they’re not going to tell us, and that’s fine for a screening tool to prevent some passengers from boarding planes. There is no explicit constitutional right to travel on commercial flights.

But there certainly is a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. In order for the government’s terrorist watchlist to be used as the basis for limiting that right, it will have to be made public. Otherwise, innocent people will be denied their rights based on mistakes, like the ones DHS is trying to sort out with its Traveler Redress Inquiry Program.

“Many people erroneously believe that they are experiencing a screening delay because they are on a watchlist,” DHS says on its website. “In fact, such delays are often caused merely by a name similarity to another person who is on the watchlist. Ninety-nine percent of individuals who apply for redress are not on the terrorist watchlist, but are misidentified as people who are.”

With an error rate that high, the government’s use of the watchlist must be watched.

President Obama called it “insane” that people on the no-fly list can buy guns, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate, agreed with him. But it’s not insane to protect innocent people from secret government actions against them.

Limits on government power are what make the United States a free country. In other places, officials can simply decide to do anything, to anybody, at any time, for any reason. Not here.

Americans have rights that cannot be taken away by the arbitrary actions of government officials.

That’s the deal we signed, and we’re going to hold them to it.

Gun Rights Lawsuit Targets L.A.’s Prohibition of High-Capacity Magazines

IMG_0383With gun rights and regulations emerging as a hot-button issue in California politics, the city of Los Angeles has provoked a high-profile lawsuit against a recent prohibition on so-called high-capacity magazines.

“This summer, the City Council banned possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition,” the Associated Press recalled. “Owners have until Nov. 18 to sell the magazines, take them out of the city or surrender them to police.” Failure to abide by the new law would result in a misdemeanor. The July ban came in the wake of reports issued by the L.A. city attorney, accordingto Courthouse News; it went into effect last month.

Bringing suit

The response from law enforcement and gun enthusiasts has been swift. Thirty sheriffs statewide brought suit against the ban, joined by the California Reserve Peace Officers Association and the Golden State’s National Rifle Association affiliate, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, noted the Los Angeles Daily News. “Since 2000, California has outlawed manufacturing or selling high-capacity magazines, but Los Angeles’ ordinance goes further, making it illegal to possess them,” the paper added.

That statewide rule factored into the logic driving the lawsuit. According to the plaintiffs, “when Los Angeles banned gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds in July, it ‘land locked’ gun owners who already had the legal weapons,” Courthouse News reported:

“Lead plaintiff Shasta County Sheriff Thomas Bosenko says that California has regulated the sale, possession and use of high-capacity magazines — those that hold more than 10 bullets — since Jan. 1, 2000. High-capacity magazines legally acquired before that date were exempt from the state’s ‘regulatory scheme’ and grandfathered in, according to the Oct. 23 lawsuit.”

But some legal analysts have already suggested that the lawsuit could be in vain. “Cities including Sunnyvale and San Francisco also ban possession of high-capacity magazines and have successfully fended off lawsuits from the NRA,” the Daily News observed.

A broader battle

At the same time, the Los Angeles ban follows on the heels of a similar law in San Francisco, whose former mayor and now Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has vowed to extend the prohibition across all of California. “He proposes a statewide ban on possession — not just sales — of high-capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds,” as George Skelton noted in the Los Angeles Times. In an interview with Skelton, Newsom said that his plan to circumvent the Legislature by putting the ban on the ballot illustrated “why direct democracy was conceived.” But he remained “vague,” Skelton suggested, about how to enforce the proposed rules, which would require owners “to sell them to a licensed dealer, take them out of state or turn them over to law enforcement.”

Although the plaintiffs challenging L.A.’s law have warned of a patchwork quilt of prohibitions too hard for gun owners to discern and obey, that kind of regime has emerged as the likely alternative to Newsom-style regulations covering the whole of California. Gov. Jerry Brown, known as a relative skeptic toward ever-stricter gun control, has effectively become the only officeholder capable of derailing new statewide rules cracking down on guns or ammunition.

In 2013, on the heels of another threatened lawsuit by the NRA, Brown rejected what would have been among the toughest of state laws. “Brown vetoed Senate Bill 374, which would have banned semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and required firearm owners to register even low-capacity rifles as assault weapons,” the Washington Post reported. “In a message to the Legislature, Brown wrote he didn’t ‘believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights,’” the Post added.

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Gavin Newsom Announces 2016 Gun Control Ballot Initiative

Gavin newsomThrusting himself to the forefront of America’s campaign-season controversy around access to firearms, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom seized the opportunity to define the 2018 gubernatorial race early, proposing a ballot initiative that would usher in sweeping new gun laws.

Although Newsom’s liberal bona fides were not in question, analysts observed that his calculated risk to wade into the debate made sense in the context of California’s current political climate. “High-profile ballot measure campaigns can help bolster a candidate’s visibility,” as the Los Angeles Times noted. “And because of dismal voter turnout in the last California election, the threshold to qualify measures has been dropped to 365,000 petition signatures, much lower than the previous standard.”

Guns in the crosshairs

Newsom didn’t hesitate to cast himself as a champion of the anti-gun movement, capable of going head to head against the nation’s strongest firearms rights lobbies. “The NRA doesn’t own me, they haven’t bought me — and they never will. They’ve already come after us,” he said in remarks to Capital New York, a Politico publication, “and it’s going to intensify.”

Calling the National Rifle Association “extraordinarily effective at stifling the legislative process,” Newsom vowed “to fight a different fight — that is, direct democracy. We’re going directly to voters. Because the public is with us, including the NRA members themselves.”

Uncertain terrain

To an extent, Newsom has public opinion on his side in the Golden State. “A poll last month by the Public Policy Institute of California found that two-thirds of adults believe California’s gun control laws should be stricter than they are now,” USA Todayreported. “It found that 57 percent of adults said controlling gun ownership is more important than protecting the right of Americans to own guns, while 40 percent said protecting gun ownership is more important.”

But Newsom was cagey on the subject of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has torpedoed California gun legislation in the recent past. His proposed initiative, the Sacramento Bee noted, incorporates “provisions of bills that have stalled at the state Capitol or were vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in recent years.” In addition to compelling sellers of bullets to be licensed in the same manner as sellers of guns, the Bee continued, Newsom’s initiative would “establish a process to seize guns from people prohibited from owning them because of their criminal records, mandate that lost or stolen guns be reported to law enforcement, and require the California Department of Justice to notify federal authorities when someone is added to the state database of prohibited firearms owners.”

Californians have already directly or indirectly established one of the strictest sets of firearms regulations in the country, with “a 10-day waiting period for all firearm purchases, an assault weapons ban, and a ban on making and selling magazines that hold more than 10 rounds,” as the San Jose Mercury News recalled. “The state enacted its assault weapons ban in 1989 and expanded it 10 years later,” the paper added, although “those who already owned the banned guns and magazines were allowed to register and keep them.”

Fueling fears

Of all the provisions proposed by Newsom, one stood out: the ban on so-called “large capacity” gun magazines. UCLA law professor Adam Winkler told the Bee that the provision would “hit a lot of ordinary gun owners where it hurts,” potentially turning gun moderates against the initiative. “It plays into the hands of gun-rights proponents who are always warning that the government is going to come take your guns,” he suggested.

In a statement, NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter promptly advanced that standpoint. “His ballot initiative proposal does nothing but prohibit access to the most effective methods for self-defense, with no measurable positive effect on stopping crime or improving public safety,” she told Courthouse News. “They can’t repeal the Second Amendment, so they’re trying to chip away our rights until there is nothing left,” she said.

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com