U.S. District Court judge Cormac J. Carney has issued a preliminary injunction against continuing enforcement of the California handgun roster, ruling that the roster is unconstitutional. The court grants Preliminary Injunctions when the trial judge is satisfied that the plaintiff will prevail after the trial. Kudos to the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) for filing the suit … and for prevailing.
This injunction invalidating the handgun roster will not take effect until April 3, 2023, to allow State of California Attorney General Rob Bonta to appeal. Thanks to the 2022 Bruen decision, it is no longer a sure thing that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will issue such a stay.
If the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals does stay this injunction, then nothing will change until the completion of the trial, which can take weeks to months.
This decision is certain to rock California’s anti-gun politicians. United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney’s decision declares that “Californians have the constitutional right to acquire and use state-of-the-art handguns to protect themselves. They should not be forced to settle for decade-old models of handguns to ensure that they remain safe inside or outside the home.”
The decision further reads in part, “The Second Amendment enshrines a fundamental constitutional right for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Increasingly in modern times, with “the ubiquity of guns and our country’s high level of gun violence,” ordinary law-abiding people feel a need to possess handguns to protect themselves against violence.”
CRPA President and General Counsel Chuck Michel celebrated the win by saying,
“For decades, this ‘roster’ law has deprived law-abiding citizens of the right to choose a handgun appropriate for their individual needs. The loaded chamber indicator, magazine disconnect, and microstamping requirements were impossible to satisfy, so the number of different models of approved handguns available to buy dropped to barely 200. If we can hold on to this great Second Amendment win, people will be able to choose from among thousands of the latest, greatest, and safest handguns made today.”
CRPA answers to some of the common questions about this ruling:
Q: What did the order state as unconstitutional?
A: Particular features of handguns like chamber load indicator, which indicates whether a handgun is loaded, magazine disconnect mechanism, which prevents a handgun from being fired is the magazine is not fully inserted, and microstamping, which is microscopic characters representing the handgun’s make model and serial number onto the casing when the firearm is fired.
No handgun in the world has all three of these features which is why no new semi-auto handguns have been allowed on the California “safe” Handgun Roster since 2013 when the microstamping requirement was introduced.
Q: Is the injunction from the court in place right now and can I buy whatever gun I want now?
A: The order enjoining the features required for a handgun on the CA “Safe” Handgun Roster does not go into effect for 14 days. During this time, the State will decide if they will appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit. If the State appeals, then the injunction will more than likely be stayed until the appeal goes forward and nothing will change for the time being. If the State does not appeal the ruling, then the injunction will go into effect around March 2nd.
Q: Is the roster completely gone with this ruling?
A: No. This ruling does not necessarily go away with this court order, but it does make the most egregious parts of the existing roster inoperable. Like the 3 for 1 law that was passed last year where for every one gun that came onto the roster with these features, three others arbitrarily dropped off the available list of firearm even though they were already deemed “safe” by the State. Essentially, this court order makes this 3 for 1 law inoperable because no firearm has to meet the restrictions on features any longer if the injunction stands.
Q: What happens next?
A: We have to wait to see if the State will appeal the ruling. Thus far, no comment from the Governor, the Attorney General, or gun-control groups supports maintaining the roster. Once we know how the State will react, we will alert members with that update.
Source: California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA)