WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 4, 2019) -- Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced today the filing of an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief in support of a petition for certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court in Peña v. Horan, a federal Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the State of California’s Unsafe Handgun Act and “Roster” requirements. The brief can be viewed or downloaded at www.firearmspolicy.org/legal.
FPC and FPF were joined in the brief by a coalition of Second Amendment advocacy organizations, including Madison Society Foundation (MSF), San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc. (Comm2A), and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, Inc. (CAL-FFL).
The coalition brief argues that “through its ‘Unsafe Handgun Act’ and its handgun rostering requirements, the State of California has created an illusion of choice. In truth, the Handgun Roster has become a time capsule, where Californians in 2019 are forced to choose from a smaller and shrinking list of available, state-approved handgun models which pre-date the Roster’s ‘microstamping’ requirement.”
Worse, many of the handguns listed on the Roster are not even unique firearms. Indeed, a recent analysis performed by FPC and FPF shows that approximately one-third of the Roster’s total listings are simply “aesthetic variants” of other handguns on the list. These variants do not offer consumers substantive and material choices in the physical attributes, function, or performance of a handgun relative to another listing. The analysis and source data can be found at www.firearmspolicy.org/california-handgun-roster.
“By arguing that the Roster features ‘hundreds’ of unique handguns, the State is essentially gaslighting California gun owners,” said FPC Policy Director Richard Thomson. “Indeed, our research shows that there are hundreds of duplicate firearms on the Roster, many of which are only differentiated from one another based on aesthetic features like color. This is beyond absurd, and it shows why the Roster must be overturned.”
Additionally, the brief argues that “the Ninth Circuit [which previously upheld the Roster] was improperly dismissive of the actual burdens on Second Amendment rights imposed by the Roster,” and that “the Handgun Roster requirements amount to a categorical ban on firearms in common use.”
Pena v. Horan is currently awaiting a response from the State of California. FPC and FPF’s amicus brief strongly urges the high court to grant that petition.
“In conjunction with this Court’s recent grant of certiorari in NYSPRA v. City of New York, this Court has the opportunity to reassert what it meant in Heller and ensure the next ten years of Second Amendment litigation are guided by real constitutional scrutiny. The court should grant the petition,” the brief concluded.
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.