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CA AWB Suit Goes Forward

Subdeacon Joe

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SAN DIEGO (September 23, 2020) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that Southern District of California Federal District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez has issued an order denying the State of California’s partial motion to dismiss in the case of Miller, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., an FPC-led federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s “assault weapons” ban on common semi-automatic firearms. The Court’s order is available online at AssaultWeaponLawsuit.com.

The order, filed today, states that, regarding the issue of standing, the “Court finds Plaintiffs have standing on all claims in large part flowing from the criminal penalties they could face.” Explaining that California’s Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 “imposes a felony criminal penalty for anyone who manufactures, distributes, imports, keeps for sale, offers for sale, or lends an ‘assault weapon’,” with “prescribed prison sentences [of] four, six, or eight years,” the Court’s order said that the “result is that any law-abiding citizen may lose his liberty, and (not ironically) his Second Amendment rights, as a result of exercising his constitutional right to keep and bear arms if the arm falls within the complicated legal definition of an ‘assault weapon.’” It went on, “If ever the existence of a state statute had a chilling effect on the exercise of a constitutional right, this is it.”

Thus, the Court held, “It has long been the case that a plaintiff possesses Article III standing to bring a pre-enforcement challenge to a state statute which regulates the exercise of a federal constitutional right and threatens a criminal penalty.” And while the “Defendants argue that Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge seven particular statutes among all of the various interlocking statutes affecting the regulation of guns deemed assault weapons,” the Court “finds to the contrary, that at least one and perhaps all of the Plaintiffs have Article III standing to challenge each of the statutes -- whether singly or as an entire regulatory scheme. To sum up, the Court finds that the individual Plaintiffs and the organizational Plaintiffs have standing to challenge the nuisance statute along with the rest of the statutory scheme which defines, identifies and restricts ‘assault weapons’ which are alleged to be protected by the Second Amendment for possession and use by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” Accordingly, the case will proceed. 


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8 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:


Judge Benitez has been an assiduous 2nd Amendment defender for Californians....struck down the ammo background check requirement, struck down the "large capacity magazine" ban, and now agrees that the plaintiffs have standing to challenge the assault weapons ban.  You folks are lucky to have him on board.  Thank you, W, for nominating him to the bench.



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