** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **
SAN DIEGO (November 10, 2020) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) announced the filing of a new federal lawsuit challenging the State of California’s recently expanded handgun ban, sometimes referred to as the State’s handgun “Roster” laws. The case, Renna, et al. v. Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.
The State of California categorically prevents law-abiding citizens from purchasing and self-building thousands of handgun models in common use for lawful purposes, including the vast majority of handguns widely available throughout the United States. And just two months ago, the State Legislature aggressively expanded the laws in a bill, AB 2847, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in September. As part of that bill, the California Department of Justice must remove three firearms from the Roster that are not compliant with its current requirements for every single new firearm added to the Roster, thus guaranteeing that the market of handguns available to Californians will be even further restricted.
“This case is a key part of our comprehensive strategy to free California from one of the most burdensome gun control regimes in the United States,” said attorney Ray DiGuiseppe, who works with FPC on civil rights litigation throughout the country. “We look forward to restoring the right to keep and bear arms and, through this case, giving back to Californians the freedom they are constitutionally entitled to.”
“California’s so-called ‘Unsafe Handgun Act’ is really just an unconstitutional ban of commonly used, constitutionally-protected firearms,” explained attorney Michael Sousa, co-counsel on the lawsuit. “We will prove to the Court how California’s handgun ban cannot survive constitutional scrutiny under the Second Amendment and Supreme Court precedents, and thus, it must be declared unconstitutional and enjoined.”
“In Heller the U.S. Supreme Court provided a simple test: if an arm is bearable and in common use for lawful purposes, it is prima facie protected under the Second Amendment, period,” explained FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut. “The handguns California prevents law-abiding people from purchasing and making themselves are protected arms. We are eager to vindicate the rights of our clients and the People of California through this case and others.”
That analysis prevailed in the case of Duncan v. Becerra, where the Court found California’s ban on common firearm magazines to violate the Second Amendment and is currently being argued in another FPC lawsuit, the closely-related challenge to California’s Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act, Miller, et al., v. Becerra, et al.. Miller is set for an accelerated bench trial in January 2021.
“It is clear that the intent of California’s anti-gun lawmakers is to ban more and more protected arms through increasingly restrictive legislation,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This expanded handgun ban scheme cannot go without challenge. We look forward to prevailing in this case and winning Second Amendment rights one lawsuit at a time.”
“The Legislature has created a regulatory scheme that prevents people from buying handguns that are widely available and popular in the free market outside of the State,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “California’s new and expanded handgun ban is unconstitutional because it prevents law-abiding people from purchasing the common, modern firearms they have a right to under our Constitution. Just like the State cannot prohibit people from buying the political books of their choice, different versions of religious texts, or computers with technological and commercial developments better suited for publishing speech, it cannot ban the sale and self-manufacture of these constitutionally protected handguns.”
The plaintiffs in the Firearms Policy Foundation-supported lawsuit include individual California residents who wish to purchase and self-manufacture handguns California bans, licensed firearms dealers who would sell such handguns if not for the State’s handgun Roster laws, and organizational plaintiffs FPC, SDCGO, CCRKBA, and SAF. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Raymond DiGuiseppe and San Diego-based attorney Michael Sousa. Defendants are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Luis Lopez, the director of the Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms.
The Renna case is another important lawsuit filed as part of FPC’s comprehensive strategy to defend freedom, advance individual liberty, and restore the Constitution and its guarantees for individuals throughout the United States. Individuals who wish to support the lawsuit can do so at JoinFPC.org and www.firearmspolicy.org/renna.
NOTICE -- POTENTIAL PLAINTIFFS NEEDED!
FPC is urgently seeking individual and FFL plaintiffs for a number of lawsuits that are being prepared to challenge laws and policies that infringe on fundamental rights, including (but not limited to):
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from purchasing and/or possessing so-called “assault weapons” (semi-automatic firearms with standard characteristics) and “high-capacity” magazines (standard magazines that hold more than 10 rounds)
- Laws and policies that prevent 18-20-year-old young adults (under age 21) from obtaining handguns from FFLs and carry loaded, operable arms in public for self-defense
- Laws and policies that prevent individual adults (over the age of 18) from carrying loaded handguns and other arms outside of their home
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring and/or possessing handguns and other arms without first acquiring a “purchase permit”
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring or possessing firearms due to a conviction for a non-violent crime, or mental health adjudication that did not involve an involuntary commitment
- Laws that prevent honorably discharged veterans from acquiring or possessing firearms because they have been classified as “a mental defective” due to the agency’s determination that they “lack the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs” because they need assistance managing VA benefits and have a fiduciary
If someone you know meets the criteria above, or if you would be interested in participating in litigation as a supporting FFL, please contact us:
- On the web at www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline
- By email at potentialplaintiffs[at]fpchq.org
- By phone at (855) 252-4510 (FPC Legal Action Hotline available 24/7/365)
If you would like to support FPC’s Renna case and many other pro-Second Amendment lawsuits, legal action, and research, please chip in $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/donate or Join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org.
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.
Firearms Policy Foundation (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, through research, education, legal action, and other charitable programs.