Gun Dealers File For Summary Judgement In Handgun Advertising Case

Tracy Rifle and Pistol owner Michael Baryla
Tracy Rifle and Pistol owner Michael Baryla
Calguns Foundation
Calguns Foundation

California – -( Yesterday, attorneys for 5 gun California dealers have filed a motion for summary judgment to strike down a state law that bans the on-site advertising of handguns outside of gun store in a federal First Amendment civil rights.

California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, bans gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles.

Tracy Rifle and Pistol, a firearm retailer and indoor shooting range located in San Joaquin County, was cited by Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Department of Justice for having pictures of three handguns in window signs that can be seen outside the store. An adjacent window image at Tracy Rifle, which shows a photograph of an AR-15 rifle, was not cited by the DOJ.

The lawsuit claims that the State’s restriction violates First Amendment rights by severely restricting truthful, non-misleading commercial speech. “Section 26820 imposes a content- and speaker-based burden on protected expression that is, in practice, viewpoint-discriminatory, and imposes an intolerable burden on the right of firearms dealers to advertise accurate information about the sale of handguns,” the lawsuit’s complaint alleges.

“The First Amendment prevents the government from telling businesses it disfavors that they can’t engage in truthful advertising,” said lead counsel Bradley Benbrook. “This case follows a long line of Supreme Court cases protecting such disfavored businesses from that type of censorship.”

In a prior order denying a preliminary injunction in the case, Federal Eastern District of California Judge Troy L. Nunley said that, “On balance – based on the arguments and evidence currently before the Court – the Court also finds it is more likely than not that Plaintiffs will succeed on the merits of their First Amendment claim.”

Though the case doesn’t claim a Second Amendment violation, plaintiffs do argue that commercial advertisement of products and services that are themselves held to be protected under the constitution — whether abortion, contraceptives, or guns — is especially clearly protected under the First Amendment.

The plaintiffs are represented by Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay of the Sacramento-based Benbrook Law Group as well as Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who has written and taught extensively about the First and Second Amendments.

The State of California also filed a motion for summary judgment in the case today. The cross-motions for summary judgment in Tracy Rifle and Pistol LLC, et al. v. Kamala Harris, et al., will be heard before Judge Nunley at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2016.

The new case filings can be viewed here.

About The Calguns Foundation:

The Calguns Foundation ( is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to defend and advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.

Supporters may visit to join or donate to CGF.

  • 4 thoughts on “Gun Dealers File For Summary Judgement In Handgun Advertising Case

    1. Let’s not forget super anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment DEMOCRAT (ultra liberal) California Senator Leland Yee who worked his heart away all the time to go against gun ownership in California actually a Democrat Party anti-gun activist. Oh yeah, a couple of years ago this piece of trash was arrested for illegal gun and explosive sales to gangs, money laundering and much more. Now in Federal prison in Texas. The lying and hypocritical acts by the in power Democrats (watch Obama and the news media) is simply beyond imagination. I wish the NRA would remind its members in the publications NOT to forget this guy and his thinking.

    2. Someone needs to kick the anti gun A$$HOLE$ running Kalifornia right Square in their BALLS (the women? have them there too) ! This is AMERICA, not some third world commie controlled (well, won’t be after Trump moves in) country. NATIONAL CARRY, should trump any and ALL states BULL$HIT antigun laws for law abiding citizens. PERIOD. The 2nd Amendment covers the entire country and should NEVER be limited by ANY state governments. If they don’t like it, GTFO !

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