California’s Gun-Law Justifications Don’t Fly | Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 2, 2023
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California’s Gun-Law Justifications Don’t Fly

FRESNO, Calif. (CN) - California's attorney general failed to persuade a federal judge that a law requiring gun buyers to wait 10 days to receive their firearms is a justified burden on Second Amendment rights.

Nonprofits Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation joined three gun owners in suing California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the Department of Justice over the state's so-called "waiting period law."

They claim the law -- and its 18 exceptions -- violate the Second Amendment's right to bear arms and the Constitution's equal protection clause. The law allegedly carves out exemptions for entities like movie prop houses and auction buyers.

Harris moved for summary judgment, characterizing the 10-day wait as a "cooling off" period meant to stem gun violence and give the state time to perform adequate background checks.

But U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii in Fresno said the evidence doesn't support the state's justifications.

"[T]here is nothing before the court to suggest that the 10-day period is a 'reasonable fit' that is not substantially broader than necessary to determine if an individual is disqualified from owning a firearm," Ishii wrote.

"While it is appropriate to have a background check, the current systems and data available do not make the 10-day waiting period reasonable," he added. "In terms of cooling-off, there is no evidence to support the efficacy of the law in preventing impulsive firearm violence. Moreover, for those who already legally possess firearms, the [waiting period] would have no effect in terms of creating a 'cooling off' period. Any spontaneous desire to perform a violent act can be manifested through the weapon that is already in the individual's possession."

One of the co-plaintiffs, gun owner Brandon Combs, said cases like this "will define the limits of government regulations on firearms and Second Amendment rights."

"We look forward to making sure laws like California's waiting period are properly scrutinized by the courts," he said in a press release.

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