SAN DIEGO, CA (November 13, 2019) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an amended complaint and new motion for a preliminary injunction in the case of Matthew Jones, et al. v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., a federal Second Amendment challenge to California’s ban on gun purchases by legal adults under age 21. The court filings are available online at www.firearmspolicy.org/jones.
“Mere months after Senator Anthony Portantino’s unconstitutional SB 1100 (2018) ban went into effect, Governor Newsom signed Senator Portantino’s SB 61 (2019) to further ensure that law-abiding legal adults are denied their fundamental human rights,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, John Dillon. “We filed the amended complaint and a new motion for preliminary injunction to address the expanded scope of California’s unconstitutional and discriminatory age-based gun control scheme enforced against young legal adults and licensed dealers.”
“The law-abiding young adults I represent are not violent felons, mentally ill, or of any other class of historically disarmed persons. Their right to keep and bear arms should be restored by the Court,” continued Dillon. “Our motion makes clear that there is no historical support for age-based firearms restrictions on adults in the United States. Evidence also shows that age-based firearms restrictions have no effect on reducing homicides, suicides, or mass shootings. The State’s reasoning for such an unlawful ban relies on speculation and conjecture, its hatred of gun owners, and a dangerous desire to write out the Constitution where it disagrees with the State’s policy preferences.”
FPC Director of Research Joseph Greenlee explained further. “The Supreme Court made clear in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) that the Second Amendment’s scope is defined by the understanding of the right at the time of its ratification. When the Second Amendment was ratified, virtually every male (and some females) in the country between 18 and 21 was required to own firearms,” he said. “Moreover, by the time of ratification, there had been hundreds of laws throughout the colonies mandating gun ownership among these young adults, and no law prohibiting it. Thus, 18-to-20-year-olds are protected by the Second Amendment, and any law prohibiting them from acquiring firearms violates their rights.”
The motion’s more than 2,000 pages of declaratory testimony and exhibits include the scholarship and research of attorney, historian, and legal scholar David T. Hardy; economist and crime researcher John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center; and sociologist, researcher, and retired attorney, Thomas B. Marvell, who authored the study, “The Impact of Banning Juvenile Gun Possession,” published in the Journal of Law and Economics (Vol. 44, Oct. 2001, pp. 691-713).
The plaintiffs in the case are Matthew Jones, an adult under the age of 21; Thomas Furrh, an adult under the age of 21; Kyle Yamamoto, an adult under the age of 21; PWGG, L.P. (D.B.A. Poway Weapons And Gear and PWG Range); North County Shooting Center, Inc.; Beebe Family Arms and Munitions LLC (D.B.A. BFAM and Beebe Family Arms and Munitions); Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC); Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF); California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF, formerly known at The Calguns Foundation); and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to defend the People’s rights, especially the human right to keep and bear arms, promote individual liberty, and restore freedom.
- California law prohibits law-abiding adults aged 18-to-20 from acquiring any firearm (Penal Code section 27510(a)-(b)).
- FPC, FPF, CGF, SAF, and individuals aged 18-to-20 brought this action, Jones, et al. v Becerra, et al., alleging that the prohibition violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.
- Plaintiffs seek a temporary and permanent injunction to enjoin the defendants from enforcing the prohibition, so young adults can acquire firearms and exercise their Second Amendment rights.