Updates in Lawsuits Challenging California's Magazine Ban, Maryland's "Assault Weapons" Ban, and More in Today's FPC Daily 2A Legal Update


In today's FPC legal update, we have filings from lawsuits challenging restrictions on magazines, so-called "assault weapons", a gun ban at a festival in Idaho, and more.

Duncan v. Bonta

Issue: Magazine ban

Court: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Action: Appellees’ supplemental reply brief on en banc rehearing

Yesterday, we mentioned that the California Attorney General filed his final supplemental brief in the lawsuit challenging the state's magazine ban, and that one from the appellees was also expected. The parties challenging the ban filed their supplemental reply brief last night, which argues that "[w]hen possession of arms becomes 'widespread' before governmental efforts to restrict them, Second Amendment protections are at their zenith," and that the state's argument that magazines holding more than 10 rounds were not widespread until the 1970s "is legally backwards and factually flawed." This case is scheduled for oral arguments on June 22nd, and we will know the composition of the en banc panel on June 14th.

Herndon v. Sandpoint

Issue: Sandpoint Festival gun ban

Court: Idaho state court

Action: Memorandum decision

Last year, the plaintiffs in this case filed a lawsuit in Idaho state court that alleged the Sandpoint Festival, which takes place at the City of Sandpoint's War Memorial Park, is unlawfully banning guns at the event. In addition to its Second Amendment arguments, the lawsuit also argued that the festival is using leased land from the city, and because the city can't legally prohibit guns there, the festival can't either. The judge, however, determined that "[t]he city's conveyance of a leasehold interest entitles the Festival to exclusive possession of the property," meaning that the city is indeed allowed to let those leasing the land ban guns. According to a news report, the plaintiffs "may appeal this decision while simultaneously filing a new cause of action challenging the validity of the lease".

Roe v. United States

Issue: Mental health prohibition requirements

Court: Eastern District of California

Action: Plaintiffs’ opposition to defendants’ cross-motions for summary judgment

This lawsuit, filed in 2019, alleges that California and the federal government make it impossible for the plaintiffs, who were once subject to mental health holds, to regain their Second Amendment rights despite no evidence that they are a danger to themselves or others.

In this case's latest filing, the plaintiffs are challenging the standard for their involuntary mental health holds (which prohibited some of them from owning guns) as unconstitutional as they did not include elements like the a high enough standard of evidence, and inquiry into whether a legal guardian should be appointed, or the right to a lawyer. They are also challenging the requirements for restoration of their Second Amendment rights, which were previously denied for mental health reasons. The plaintiffs noted that while 34 other states have a restoration program that complies with federal law, California does not, leaving them permanently prohibited from owning firearms until the state changes its law (if it ever does). A reply in this case is due on June 22nd, and a hearing is scheduled for August 17th.

Bianchi v. Frosh

Issue: Maryland assault weapons ban

Court: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Action: Brief of appellees

Maryland filed it's response brief in FPC's lawsuit challenging the state's ban on so-called "assault weapons." In it, the state argues that the precedent from the Fourth Circuit's prior decision in Kolbe v. Hogan, which upheld the state's ban in 2017, requires the court to reach the same conclusion in this case. The ban's challengers will now have the opportunity to file a reply brief before the court makes a decision in this case. You can learn more about this case at MarylandAWban.com