Lawsuit Challenges California’s Ban on “Large Capacity” Firearm Magazines

The plaintiffs believe that California’s confiscatory magazine ban is a taking of their property without just compensation and violates their constitutional rights.

High Capacity Magazines 223 Ammunition Ammo
High Capacity Magazines 223 Ammunition Ammo

Firearms Policy CoalitionSACRAMENTO, CA-(Ammoland.com)- Attorneys for individual gun owners and civil rights advocacy organizations filed a motion and brief seeking a temporary injunction in a federal civil rights lawsuit challenging the State of California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity” firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The case, Wiese, et al. v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California and is supported by civil rights groups The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF). A copy of the lawsuit’s key filings, including the motion, can be viewed or downloaded at http://bit.ly/ca-mag-ban-lawsuit.

The brief, filed in support of the temporary injunction plaintiffs believe is necessary to keep them from irreparable harm, argues that the State’s “large-capacity” magazine ban laws not only violate Second Amendment rights, but also violate the Constitution’s guarantee of due process, prohibition against government taking of private property without just compensation, and are unconstitutionally vague.

California’s magazine ban laws are a “sweeping prohibition [that] would deprive countless responsible owners of their constitutionally-protected rights [and] is entirely unjustified by the state’s mismatched legislative goal. And because the law is designed around this forced extraction of property, it is not ‘“readily susceptible’ to a limiting construction that would render it constitutional,” said the plaintiffs in the filing.

“Unless and until the State is enjoined” from enforcing the ban, the brief argues, the plaintiffs and thousands of other like them “would suffer irreparable injury arising from the permanent loss of constitutionally-protected liberty interests and loss of irreplaceable personal property.”

Last July, Senate Bill 1446 (SB 1446) was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown, which changed state statutes to completely ban all “large-capacity magazines” – even those which were lawfully owned at the time – as of July 1, 2017. Then, in the November general election, California voters approved Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Proposition 63 (Prop 63) “Safety For All Act” gun control initiative, which also contained language banning “large-capacity” magazines. California voters once also approved Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriage illegal in California. Proposition 8 was ultimately held to be unconstitutional.

Prior to Proposition 63 and SB 1446, many thousands of law-abiding Californians legally owned “grandfathered” “large-capacity” magazines, but now must dispose of them or surrender them to law enforcement.

In a “Finding of Emergency” for related firearm magazine regulations it had sought to issue in December, the California Department of Justice admitted that “[t]here are likely hundreds of thousands of large-capacity magazines in California at this time” and that the “Department therefore expects many gun owners to be affected by the new ban.”

“As we argue in our brief, California’s magazine ban effectively makes law-abiding gun owners surrender their constitutionally-protected property to the government,” said attorney George M. Lee. “That is totally unacceptable and represents exactly the kind of confiscation scheme that California gun owners have reasonably feared would come to pass.”

“By enacting laws that criminalize the mere possession of property that people have lawfully owned for 17 years or more, the State is using the force of its guns to dispossess law-abiding gun owners of theirs,” said Brandon Combs, who leads institutional plaintiffs FPC, FPF, and CGF. “It’s as ironic as it is sad, and sets a dangerous precedent that the government can make you into a criminal by changing its mind about what you own. If the State is allowed to enforce this magazine ban scheme, there’s nothing stopping it from doing the same with thousands of other guns, gun parts, or even diesel automobiles.”

“Enforcement of this ban would immediately place thousands of law-abiding California gun owners in jeopardy of criminal liability and subjects their personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, which is government taking, without due process or compensation. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said after the case was filed.

Attorney Raymond DiGuiseppe, a former California deputy attorney general who recently defeated former Attorney General Kamala Harris at the California Supreme Court in an important knife case, has joined attorneys Lee and Douglas A. Applegate on the lawsuit.

“The inconvenient truth for the government in this case is that its justification for its magazine ban reduces to nothing more than legislative policy choices based on speculative theories about how these standard-capacity magazines could be used to inflict harm – and that is unconstitutional,” DiGuiseppe said.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS:

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

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.

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, through advocacy, legal action, education, and outreach.

Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.

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Macofjack
Macofjack
4 years ago

As hard as it is and I understand as I moved from IL to MO (got tired of letting Chicago run the entire state), the only way to fix it is hit them where it hurts. MOVE. Have a business move it, live in the state move out. When the tax rolls go down the freebies go away, the freebies go away and the freeloader move to greener grounds. Harsh YES, but it’s the ONLY way to fix the politicians that don’t take the constitution seriously.

HLF
HLF
4 years ago

jerry brown was a failed governor the first time in office, the socialist re-elected brown again, and he is a greater failure then he was before.

Samuel Stephens
Samuel Stephens
4 years ago

And our politicians and our twitterpated sheeple think Kommunism is dead, NO, it is not. Kommunism is alive and well in Kalifornia’s State Legislature, and all the joy is being spread by Socialist Progressives “Kommunists” DemocRATs . It’s always nice living where ignorance is bliss.

Robert
Robert
4 years ago

I wonder why the ACLU isn’t helping to protect the civil rights of the people of the gun?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert

, the ACLU is not really about civil liberties. The ACLU was founded by two card carrying communists for the purpose of using our civil liberties against us. The ACLU uses the donations of useful idiots to fund law suits that twist the purposes of our civil rights. The ACLU is a false flag op.

Macofjack
Macofjack
4 years ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@Wild Bill, isn’t that the American Civil LIBERALS Union. Just sayin’

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 years ago
Reply to  Macofjack

Most humorous!

Old Man's Club VE Veteran
Old Man's Club VE Veteran
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert

To underscore what Wild Bill said I’ll tell you what ACLU REALLY stands for “American Communist Liars Union”.

Bandit
Bandit
4 years ago

I wish we can have a nice large earthquake, one that will remove ALL major cities along the coastline that way most of the liberals will be gone, that would help the state in more ways than can be counted. That idiot governor that we have at this time is as far left as you can get, he has gone so far as to say that the Constitution is not valid in the state, and he thinks that the illegals have more rights than the people who live here. Nope he is about as anti American as you can get.

jim s
jim s
4 years ago
Reply to  Bandit

No kidding. Im on the eastern side populated with normal people who think you should be able to live your life the way you want. All of us wish the coast would sink and we get a new coast closer to home without the socialists in SF and LA

Macofjack
Macofjack
4 years ago

CA violates the constitution on a daily basis. We can all hope the suit will be successful, but I would not hold your breath!