Injunction Sought Against California “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Injunction Sought Against California “Assault Weapons” Regulations

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -( Attorneys for 5 California gun owners and 4 civil rights advocacy organizations have filed for an injunction against the state’s Department of Justice regulations on so-called “assault weapons.”

In the request for an injunction, the plaintiffs argue that “they, and many others similarly situated, will suffer irreparable injury if they are forced to comply with the registration requirement in accordance with the Challenged Regulations by the statutory deadline of June 30, 2018. In essence, they and many others would either be illegally forced to register or illegally denied the ability to register their firearms.”

Also filed was an amendment to the case, adding Craig Stevens as an individual plaintiff suing over the regulations. According to the filing, Stevens is “currently an active-duty member of the California Army National Guard, having the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC), and is currently and as of December 23, 2017, deployed overseas to the Middle East.”

Stevens has tried multiple times to comply with the DOJ regulations on “assault weapons,” but the DOJ rejected his application even though there was no legal basis for them to deny him the registration of his firearm.

“The declaratory and injunctive relief, and/or mandamus relief, sought in this action are necessary as set forth herein, to vindicate his right (and obligation), and the rights (and obligations) of others similarly situated, to register this legally-owned firearm as the only available means by which to maintain lawful possession of such firearms according to the DOJ’s regulatory scheme,” the court filing says.

About the new filings, plaintiffs’ attorney George M. Lee explained, “As we show in our motion for an injunction, the State’s regulatory and enforcement scheme was designed and functions to separate law-abiding people from their rights, property, and statutory obligations. We seek in this case to make DOJ follow the same laws they impose on others – and protect law-abiding gun owners in the process.”

Raymond DiGuiseppe, co-counsel and former California deputy attorney general, agreed. “The Department of Justice has grossly exceeded their authority and is illegally imposing its will on thousands of California gun owners. Their regulations and actions undermine the rule of law and put potentially hundreds of thousands of people at risk for serious criminal liability. We look forward to resolving these issues as quickly as possible and protecting California’s law-abiding gun owners from this regulatory overreach.”

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.

The lawsuit is backed by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF).

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

Case Background

In July 2016, 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 bills were universally opposed by civil rights advocacy groups including Firearms Policy Coalition, Gun Owners of California, the National Rifle Association, California Rifle & Pistol Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and others.

“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, in December 2016, 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, the 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 last 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 the public records concerning its promulgation of these regulations. The regulations were completely rejected by OAL a little more than a month later.

Next, the DOJ submitted a virtually-identical set of regulations under the “File & Print” process, again claiming “APA-exempt” status. Inexplicably, this time the OAL approved the regulations, shuttling them along for publication through the Secretary of State in July 2017 and thus allowing the DOJ to proceed with its new “assault weapon” regulatory process.

Then, just before closing doors for the Thanksgiving 2017 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 attempting to retroactively bootstrap its prior July regulations into effect for all purposes including criminal prosecutions.

FPC published the new proposed regulations and prior regulatory updates at, a Web site it 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, Rick Russell, and Craig Stevens 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 FoundationAbout 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 advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.

For more information, visit their website.

Second Amendment Foundation

About Second Amendment Foundation:

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 gun control.

For more information, visit their website.

Firearms Policy CoalitionAbout Firearms Policy Coalition:

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.

For more information, visit their website.

Firearms Policy Foundation

About 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.

For more information, visit their website.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It is a wonder to me that a suit has not been filed on behalf of the Americans with Disabilities Act for those people (such as “Little People” and others) over the fact that CA has restricted what weapons may be sold in the state. The ones remaining may not be useable by people with disabilities. Of course those liberal progressives like Brown, Becerra, etc, wouldn’t care.

Jim M Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
 Conspiracy Against Rights This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise… Read more »

JD Carpanzano

Remember the left is masterful with their words and names, American Equality, Move America Forward, Buy Back Program and of course Assault Weapons. We as a community must change that. I guarantee every one of us who has bought an AR, AK or similar weapon can testify with certainty that 99.9999% of those weapons have NEVER assaulted anyone. Furthermore the whole concept of “Buy Back Program” suggests the gun was theirs all along and YOU obtained it under nefarious circumstances. I for one am sick of having to fight for the most important Amendment, you know, the one that guarantees… Read more »


I know the libs in the U.S. think that if a judge declares something, it is law. But that isn’t the case. All of these federal judges take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution, yet many of them violate that oath on a regular basis. We need new laws that will disbar and punish these activist judges when they violate the Constitution. (Politicians too!)


Didn’t Kalifornia just impose a new tax and registration process to buy ammo too? I think it began on January 1st. #BackdoorGunRegistration


YES! No more order by mail except through an FFL holder. The FFL holder must do a State of CA background check. They also charge a fee. The state further desires that anyone purchasing ammo must be authorized by the state (card carrying purchaser) although I don’t believe that part has passed yet.

David M.

David M. Say’s: Does anyone really believe Comi-Fornia, will change for the (Better/AND/Start) abiding by the Constitution!!!?? If you do, put down your (GREEN) tobacco cigarette, and get a reality check!! I’m glad someone still lives there to pay all of those, never ending higher and higher taxes!!! Comi-Fornia would raise their taxes every year to pay for all those illegal aliens, if they could, because the state will never have enough money to pay for all those illegal aliens!!! Millions, Millions, and untold Millions of them, flooding into their STATE, after all, their (NOW) a (Sanctuary State), as of… Read more »


Not to be pessimistic, but eventually it will end up in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is comprised of octogenarian Californian liberals, and it will get thrown out.


Scott Anthony says there are now over 9,800 sealed indictments nationwide, many of them in Calif. Its possible that some of these corrupt Calif. judges are on the list.


I hope Moonbeam and his cronies are among them. That would send a message to progressive socialistic commie loving Democrats everywhere.


No. Kiss the nation goodbye for the streets will run red. There are far too many guns in private hands for the nation to ban them without resistance… armed resistance. It seems that with all the talk about how the grid will be crashed by a single NK EMP, for years, and that millions will die of starvation, disease, etc, no one has considered how easy it would be for any enemy nation to invade and conquer a nation of disarmed military and civilians. As it was in 1814, so would it be now. Armed citizens would have to defend… Read more »

Patrick Sperry

There was a time when in order to get out of Junior High, and into High School you had to pass The Constitution Test in California.
That went away, and what do we see..?
Apparently it’s past high time for the people of California to put into effect restrictions to the official bureaucratic belligerence and official oppression by means of Second Amendment solutions… Since the usual suspects refuse to listen to reason.

Wild Bill

@Pat S, I think that Ca changed it to the Constitution of Mexico. Could just be a rumor.

Samuel Stephens

Kalifornia’s legislature don’t care how much they break the law being the legislature is being run by the Mexican Nazi Party and the Mexican Mafia, your choice.


Connecticut has the nations most unconstitutional and oppressive gun ban and for several times in the past the local and regional courts have upheld it and most recent attempt to bring it before the Supreme Court of the U.S. has been meet with a refusal to hear the case. 2018 could be the gun owners Gettysburg. If Democrats and Rhinos take the House and Senate, kiss gun ownership as we know it goodbye.

Wild Bill

@ras, Yeah, I’m worried about that, too. We gotta kill that swamp.