Gun Owners, Rights Groups File Legal Challenge to California Regulations

Gun Owners, Rights Groups File Legal Challenge to California Regulations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -(Ammoland.com)- Today, attorneys for four individual gun owners as well as advocacy organizations The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) filed a new lawsuit and petition for writ of mandate that challenges more than a dozen new “assault weapon” regulations ramrodded into effect by the State of California’s Department of Justice (DOJ).

Named as defendants are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Chief of the DOJ Bureau of Firearms Stephen Lindley, the California Department of Justice itself, Director of the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) Debra Cornez, and State Controller Betty Yee.

Plaintiffs’ attorney George M. Lee said that the lawsuit was focused on protecting law-abiding people from illegal regulatory and enforcement actions.

“By making and enforcing unlawful rules, and going around the rules to do it, the DOJ is putting tens if not hundreds of thousands of law-abiding people at risk of serious criminal liability,” said Lee. “This case seeks to make the DOJ follow the same laws they impose on others and protect law-abiding gun owners in the process.”

“The DOJ is acting like an out-of-control bullet train that’s running off the rails,” said plaintiffs’ attorney and former Deputy Attorney General Raymond DiGuiseppe. “Our plaintiffs want to get the State’s agencies back on the tracks and following the law.”

CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman notes, “The DOJ has used every trick in the book to avoid good faith rulemaking action, and we cannot allow that to go unchallenged. California laws are bad enough without piling on unlawful and harmful regulations, so we seek here to restore the rule of law—and some sanity.”

“The government agencies responsible for enforcing the law must also follow the law,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said. “This case is an important step in protecting law-abiding gun owners from an out-of-control regulatory state.”

“The DOJ is playing a dangerous game with the law, and it needs to stop,” observed FPF Vice President Jonathan Jensen. “Tens of thousands of people could face potential felonies in just a handful of months, and meanwhile the DOJ has moved the goalposts with the registration clock ticking.”

“The State of California is nothing short of bipolar with its gun control policies,” commented FPC President Brandon Combs. “On one hand, the State is requiring people to register virtually all of their guns. On the other hand, the DOJ is doing everything it can to suppress compliance and prevent people from registering their guns.”

A copy of the complaint and petition for writ of mandate can be viewed or downloaded here.

Case Background

Last July, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a number of new gun control bills into law, including two (SB 880, Hall; AB 1135, Levine) expanding the State’s ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

“The Legislature ignored every rule in the book to fast-track their civilian disarmament agenda and herd the people into a state-wide gun-free-zone,” said FPC Spokesperson Craig DeLuz in a statement at the time.

Following that, last December, the California DOJ submitted its first attempt at “assault weapons” regulations under the OAL’s “File & Print” process, which means that the DOJ claimed the regulations were not subject to the public notice or comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

However, DOJ withdrew the regulations near the end of OAL review period after receiving thousands of opposition letters from FPC members and Second Amendment supporters.

Then, in May of this year, the DOJ re-submitted regulations under the same “File & Print” process. FPC, FPF, CGF, and Craig DeLuz sued the DOJ over the Department’s actions of blocking access to public records concerning its promulgation of these regulations. The regulations were completely rejected by OAL a little more than a month later.

Following that, the DOJ submitted a virtually-identical set of regulations under the “File & Print” process, again claiming “APA-exempt” status. The OAL approved those regulations in July, allowing the DOJ to go forward with its new “assault weapon” regulatory process.

Then, just before closing doors for the Thanksgiving holiday, the DOJ notified FPC and other Institutional Plaintiffs that it had filed yet another proposed rulemaking on “bullet-button assault weapons” (that would create new 11 CCR § 5460) for the purpose of bootstrapping its prior July regulations into effect for all purposes including criminal prosecutions.

FPC published the new proposed regulations and prior regulatory updates at BulletButtonBan.com, a Web site is established in 2016 for tracking the new California assault weapon laws and regulations. Members of the public can use FPC’s Grassroots Action Tools to submit responsive written comments to DOJ regarding the new proposed regulations.

A public hearing on the new regulations is scheduled for 10 a.m. on January 8, 2018, at the Resources Building Auditorium in Sacramento.

About The Individual Plaintiffs

Plaintiffs George Holt, Irvin Hoff, Michael Louie, and Rick Russell are all law-abiding, tax-paying residents of California who lawfully own firearms potentially subject to the DOJ’s illegal regulatory scheme. This scheme would retroactively deem their firearms “assault weapons” that either must now be registered as such through a burdensome and wasteful registration process or that cannot be registered all, effectively rendering any continued possession unlawful. The DOJ’s regulations expose them to criminal liability that would not otherwise exist under the actual laws regulating firearms in California.

The plaintiffs have joined this lawsuit to stand against the illegal regulatory actions of the DOJ and protect their rights and the rights of countless other law-abiding California gun owners being placed in jeopardy.

About the Organizations: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 advance Second Amendment and related

Second Amendment Foundation

civil rights.

Second Amendment Foundation 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 Firearms Policy Coalitiongun control.

Firearms Policy Foundation 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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vab
vab
3 years ago

Since CA will be begging for massive federal funds to clean up after the fires and rebuild all those homes and businesses, now would be the time to require the state to repeal all those unconstitutional gun laws before they can receive any taxpayer money. Sadly, this will never happen.

Meathead
Meathead
3 years ago

Hopefully, this one will make it to, and be heard by, the Supreme Court of the United States. SCOTUS has so far dodged hearing anything to do with the Second Amendment because they would have to declare ALL laws and regulations restricting firearm ownership to be “null and void”. The Second Amendment states, “…….shall not be infringed”, which simply means no restrictions whatsoever. The Justices know this and are ducking their Constitutional Duty. Corruption runs deep in all three bodies of government! ! ! !

Jim Marine #4 (@357mag22)
Jim Marine #4 (@357mag22)
3 years ago
Reply to  Meathead

you are RIGHT, and also maybe SCOTUS is waiting until the president can SEND THEM SOME MORE REAL CONSTITUTIONALIST HELP BY TWO THAT WILL EITHER RETIRE OR DIE OFF.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
3 years ago

#4, The freedom hating liberal/socialists/communists in the Cal government will get their way for many years until this case gets to the S.Ct. In the mean time, we do need to send Trump more Congress people that will confirm his S.Ct. nominations. So take every eligible voter in your family down to the primary elections to vote for the not favored by the party candidate.

Tionico
Tionico
3 years ago

ONE of the defendants has the surname “YEE”. Any chance this woman is somehow related to the FORMER congresscritter Leleand Yee, now, I belive, in prison for ilegal arms trafficking. He was one of the most rabid anti gun lawmakers in that sorry state.

JS
JS
3 years ago

The challenge for 2A Californians is we do not have a game plan to win. Anti-2A laws are passed and we react, we are always on the defensive. California antis are playing a very good game. Pit hunters against enthusiasts against those who like to carry. Carve out special exemptions for LEO’s off duty in order to get their votes. Then begin restricting each groups access until they get to their end state – confiscation and banning all sacf firearms. Can you say Australia? But we allow this to happen to us. Most enthusiasts are complacent, most are willing to… Read more »

Vilkus
Vilkus
3 years ago
Reply to  JS

You said it!!!!

Chiefton
Chiefton
3 years ago

California has seceded from the union, not through a vote but through their actions and laws. They are totally ignoring the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States, they will not support Federal Laws on Immigration and in fact hinder the Federal Agents from doing their jobs and allow illegal immigrant invaders to vote and hold officer which affects the entire country. SCOTUS must put and end to this travesty, not that California will follow their laws. But if they don’t then it should open the door to Federal intervention.

Howard
Howard
3 years ago

CAL GUNS GOOD …. California DOJ BAD……Brown and his minions BAD, really BAD …….California weather not to bad ! …. but I suggest that if you can , HOLD YOU NOSE as you drive past Sacramento on your way to IDAHO and the clean fresh air…….if you prefer turn East and land in Nevada, the smell is slight but the scenery is wonderful and take your AR-15’s … remove the Cal. mandated crap from them and BLAST away…. be safe and enjoy your Made in America High Cap. handguns and easy to reload AR’s …if you have thoughts of harming… Read more »

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
3 years ago

Commi8efornia must not be aware that the AR is the 21 st. century musket.