In response to the rise in mass shootings, several new California firearms laws have been passed and are slated to go into effect very shortly. As can be expected, the National Rifle Association (NRA) opposes the new legislation. They officially initiated a class-action lawsuit last month. Let’s dive in.
The New Laws
Tighter gun safety laws have been passed and expanded upon repeatedly as more mass shootings occur in schools, crowded shopping malls, movie theaters, and other places the public presumes to be relatively safe. In 2000, California passed a law that banned the possession, manufacture, sale, import, or transfer of gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
People already in possession of such firearms were permitted to keep them until last year when Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation into law banning their possession. Included in that 2016 bill was a provision banning the sale of “semiautomatic rifles equipped with bullet-buttons that allow for the quick removal and replacement of ammunition magazines.” The law sought to prevent incidences like the 2015 San Bernardino shooting spree that left 14 Inland Regional Center employees dead.
In November 2016, Proposition 63 also passed, which requires purchasers of ammunition to obtain a four-year permit from the California Department of Justice and retailers to obtain a one-year permit. Retailers must also check the permits of customers before selling them ammunition. The bill received a 4-1 ratio of support to the opposition and passed easily.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has been a loud supporter of stricter gun laws, stating “Background checks and other guns laws California has enacted have saved lives and are key in making our mortality rate one of the lowest in the nation.”
The NRA Lawsuit
In April, the California Rifle and Pistol Association (the California state affiliate of the NRA) and five San Diego County residents filed a 22-page lawsuit challenging the new laws. They state that recent legislation infringes upon their Second Amendment rights. The lawsuit posits that the main reason (among others) that these magazines are popular is “straightforward: In a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death.”
Ostensibly, they hope Proposition 63 will be ruled unconstitutional. Lead counsel for the plaintiffs, NRA attorney Chuck Michel, recently also filed Peruta v. California, which makes the case for allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without stating a specific threat. Currently, The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether or not to hear that case. In total, the NRA and Michel plan to file five lawsuits challenging new firearm regulation in the coming months.
Staying Safe & Informed
Due to the explosive political landscape regarding gun laws, it is important to pay attention if you are a gun owner or intend to become one. Be sure to check our blog often, and contact Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation if you need help with personal injury, sexual harassment, DUI, or misdemeanor case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling our Murrieta office at (951) 489-3320.