Court Strikes Down Cali One-Gun-A-Month Law

by Vern Evans
California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Gov. Gavin Newsom(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

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California has seen yet another of its restrictive anti-gun laws declared unconstitutional.

On Monday, in the case Nguyen v. Bonta, the District Court for the Southern District of California struck down the state’s ban on purchasing more than one handgun or semi-automatic, centerfire rifle in a 30-day period.

The court made the ruling after the state failed to prove that the law meets the second requirement of the Bruen standard—to prove a historical precedent.

“Defendants have not met their burden of producing a ‘well-established and representative historical analogue’ to the OGM law,” the court opinion stated. “The Court therefore concludes that Plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment as to the constitutionality of the OGM law under the Second Amendment.”

The lawsuit was filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) on behalf of six of its individual members, along with a number of other firearms-related groups. Cody J. Wisniewski, FPC Action Foundation vice president and general counsel, and counsel for FPC, said the decision was yet another great victory for California gun owners.

“Another week, another California gun control law declared unconstitutional by a federal court,” Wisniewski said. “California’s one-gun-a-month law directly violates California resident’s right to acquire arms and has no basis in history. Given it seems certain California will refuse to learn its lesson, we look forward to continuing to strike down its gun control regime and to defending this victory.”

While the state made a number of arguments supporting the law, in its own briefs FPC basically shot down each of those arguments.

“Despite its previous concession on the obvious point that the OGM law ‘implicates’ the Second Amendment even under the overly lenient ‘interesting balancing’ standards, the State continues to push its claim that now, after the decision in Bruen, the conduct targeted by the OGM law is not even ‘covered by ‘the plain text’ of the Second Amendment,’” FPC said in its brief in support of summary judgment. “Again, the State’s argument here is self-defeating because (1) it ignores ‘the plain text’ expressly securing the right to keep and bear Arms, in the plural, with no limitation on the frequency or quantity of firearm acquisitions.”

In the latest action, the Court instructed the parties to file a proposed judgment in seven days, which will “include language that enforcement of the judgment is stayed for thirty (30) days to facilitate an appeal.”

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