California Counties Lose in Court Over Covid Closures Of Gun Stores & Ranges

NRA-ILA AR15 Covid

BELLEVUE, WA – -( The Second Amendment Foundation scored a double victory in California with a unanimous 9th U.S. Circuit Court panel declaring COVID-19 related shutdowns of gun stores and shooting ranges in Los Angeles and Ventura counties were unconstitutional.

The cases are known as McDougall v. Ventura County and Martinez v. Villaneuva. In the McDougall case, SAF was joined by the California Gun Rights Foundation (CGRF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and two private citizens. In the Martinez case, SAF was joined by CGRF, FPC, and the National Rifle Association.

Writing for the court and referring to the McDougall case, Judge Lawrence VanDyke observed:

“from March 20 to May 7, 2020—a total of 48 days—the Orders mandated the closure of gun shops, ammunition shops, and firing ranges throughout the County to the general public, including Appellants. The closure prohibited County residents from leaving their homes to acquire any firearms or ammunition and maintain proficiency in the use of firearms at firing ranges…The County never explained its rationale behind the designations of businesses and activities deemed ‘Essential.’ The Orders therefore denied anyone who did not possess both a firearm and ammunition on March 19, 2020, from exercising their fundamental rights protected by the Second Amendment until at least May 7.”

Judge VanDyke subsequently predicted, “I’m not a prophet, but since this panel just enforced the Second Amendment, and this is the Ninth Circuit, this ruling will almost certainly face an en banc challenge. This prediction follows from the fact that this is always what happens when a three-judge panel upholds the Second Amendment in this circuit.”

“Both cases illustrate the egregious pattern of anti-gun sentiment among California officials,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Officials in both counties offered no explanation or justification for shutting down gun stores and shooting ranges, while allowing hardware stores or bicycle shops to remain open. Neither hardware or bicycles are mentioned in the Constitution, but firearms certainly are protected, and everybody knows it.

“These cases highlight the pattern of abuses California officials routinely direct toward the Second Amendment,” he added. “We agree with Judge VanDyke’s prediction of an en banc challenge, and we’re prepared to fight that battle, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. As Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote in his concurring opinion, ‘Neither pandemic nor even war wipes away the Constitution.’”

The 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 700,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. Second Amendment Foundation

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Rights delayed are rights denied. And as SCOTUS ruled, violating an unconstitutional law creates no crime, and the law creates no obligation to comply. It is without legal authority, and citizens have a duty to oppose them.


you would think by now someone would have arrested most members of the ninth for un American activity


Why is there never any consequences for violating someone rights ? See the problem ?

Wild Bill

Only if it is a criminal whose rights are violated.


It wasn’t criminals who were prevented from purchasing firearms. And no one has been or will be held accountable. Being told they were wrong and they violated the law is not enough. They must serve prison time, just as they would have jailed people who ignored their false laws, buying and selling as the Constitution allows.

Wild Bill

I can not disagree!


title 18 242 get someone to enforce it the law is there but leos wont bite the hand that is beating us


Same old Jim Crow. New vilified class: Gun Owhers.


WHY do people stay in this commie state ???? There are 47 other places to hang your hat in conus and a lot of them are not communist like commiefornia. An interesting study would be: if all law abiding conservative tax paying citizens left that hell hole what would the result be. They would be left with the homeless, the free loaders the criminals and the politicians, oh wait ????? Well you get my drift. The tax base shattered and no one to support the remains…… it would be interesting. Many other states will welcome Y’ALL with open arms as… Read more »


The biggest problem I see with this is that these jokers keep moving to get away from these policies and then vote to put the policies they ran away from into place where they have moved to.

Wild Bill

Yes, that thinking just amazes and confuses me.