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FPC Sues San Diego in 2A Lawsuit Challenging Ban on Home-Building Firearms, Precursor Parts

Charlie T Waite

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SAN DIEGO, CA (September 24, 2021) — Mere hours after San Diego, California Mayor Todd Gloria signed Ordinance no. O-2022-7 into law, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) last night filed a new Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the new ban that prohibits individuals in the City from home-building firearms, including the possession of parts and materials necessary to self-manufacture constitutionally protected arms. The confiscatory terms of the Ordinance additionally require that all persons who have any of the banned items dispossess themselves of the items within 30 days. FPC Law also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction today to block enforcement of the law. The complaint and application for temporary restraining order in Fahr v. San Diego can be found at FPCLegal.org.

“The right of individuals to self-manufacture arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes is part and parcel of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and an important front in the battle to secure fundamental rights against abusive government regulations, like San Diego’s unconstitutional ban,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations. “FPC will continue to aggressively work to defend the People’s rights and property in this case and dozens of others throughout the United States.”

“Throughout American history and our nation’s traditions of robustly exercising the right to keep and bear arms, people have been free to personally manufacture, construct, or otherwise assemble arms in common use for lawful purposes, including lawful self-defense and defense of others,” the complaint begins. “The Second Amendment right necessarily includes and thus guarantees the ability of ordinary law-abiding citizens to self-manufacture firearms in common use for self-defense and other lawful purposes.” The complaint also details founding-era examples where “many colonies relied on and incentivized people outside of the firearms industry to produce firearms,” including ones from New Hampshire, New York, and North Carolina.

“Indeed, based on the Ordinance’s expansive definitions, even raw materials, such as a uniform block of metal or plastic, would be [banned] by the Ordinance,” the filing notes. “Despite the City’s contention that it ‘is intended to be applied and interpreted consistent with state and federal law,’... the Ban’s very text effectively precludes any path for any San Diego resident to self-manufacture her own firearm under either state or federal law.”

“The Ban must be enjoined, immediately, because it is inflicting irreparable injury to the fundamental rights of law-abiding San Diegans every moment it remains in effect. Under the Ban, these responsible citizens are being forced to dispossess themselves of constitutionally protected property that they lawfully acquired before the Ban for constitutionally protected purposes, and they are being barred from ever again acquiring or using any such property for these protected purposes. Such a broad prohibition against the exercise of constitutional rights, untailored in any way and untethered from any legitimate interest that could be achieved, wouldn’t be tolerated for a moment if the rights being targeted were secured under the First Amendment. Just the same, it cannot be tolerated here, where it targets rights of equal importance secured under the Second Amendment—specifically, the right to keep and bear arms,” the request for injunction argues.

Moreover, the “Ban effectively mandates that all ordinary law-abiding San Diego residents dispossess themselves of all their unserialized ‘unfinished frames’ or ‘unfinished receivers’,” the brief says. “Such a taking is plainly unconstitutional and cannot be permitted.”

FPC is joined in the case by three individuals who wish to maintain possession of parts now banned under the City’s ordinance, as well as San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, the area’s Second Amendment rights advocacy organization. The parties are represented by Raymond DiGuiseppe, John Dillon, and FPC attorney William Sack.

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