November 2022 Legislation/Litigation Update
November Focus— Amended AB2571 resulting from Junior Sports Magazines v Bonta
As a result of a CRPA backed lawsuit, a judge ordered several changes be made to AB2571, which was a bill intended to limit advertising and promoting guns and gun-related products to youth. CRPA has provided information about how these changes may affect youth programs.
The amendments to the AB 2571 expressly exempt from the ban speech offering or promoting, among other things, any sport shooting events or competitions. The amendments also exempt speech offering or promoting any firearm safety program, hunting safety, or firearm instructional course.
The amendments also exempt communications offering or promoting membership in any organization. So, groups like the Apple Valley Gun Club and NRA may be able to resume advertising and hosting youth sport shooting and training.
To be clear, this exemption is limited to promotion of such programs, not the speech that takes place at those events. So, while youth shooting organizations or teams may likely resume advertising, registering participants for, and hosting events, they should take precautions to ensure that no speech that might encourage recipients to buy any “firearm-related product” takes place. This means that no vendors or sponsors selling or advertising “firearm-related products” should be at any event. There should be no banners, posters, flyers, handouts, or other materials bearing the logos or promotional materials of makers or sellers of “firearm-related products” at events or classes. Coaches and trainers should not endorse any “firearm-related product” or suggest that their athletes (or their parents) purchase gear for competition. And there should be no logos or promotion of makers or sellers of “firearm-related products” on uniforms, shooting jerseys, or participant giveaways (e.g., t-shirts, bags, sunglasses, etc.).
The Board of Directors and officers are actively reviewing a return of youth programs to the Apple Valley Gun Club. Expect further communication in the near future.
Antonyuk v Hochul was filed against the New York “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” (CCIA) in the US District Court for the Northern District of New York. The plaintiff’s motion for a Preliminary Injunction was heard October 25 and was granted in part and denied in part. This means that the state of New York can continue to enforce portions of the CCIA, but not others, until there is further action. The CCIA was passed after the Supreme Court Bruen decision and took effect July1, 2022.
The district court judge’s injunction halted use of the language requiring the applicant to prove they are “of good moral character”.
The judge temporarily restrained the enforcement of requirements to:
- Provide the “names and contact information for the applicant’s current spouse or domestic partner, and any other adults residing in the applicant’s home, including any adult children of the applicant, and whether or not there are minors residing full or part time in the applicant’s home”.
- Provide a list of social media accounts the applicant has currently or had during the past three years.
The judge also injoined parts of the expansion of “sensitive places”, while allowing other parts to stand.
This preliminary injunction will stay in place until the case is decided, unless the Second Circuit Court of Appeals blocks it.
While this deals with a New York state law, it illustrates potential court actions that may result from similar legislation in California.
Following the Mid-Term Election, no legislative action is likely until the new federal and state legislators take office in January.
Note, to find current, reliable information on any bill before the California legislature you can go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/home.xhtml
Vanderstock v Garland is a challenge to the ATF rule on unfinished receivers and frames, and specifically whether the ATF has authority to regulate things that are not a firearm. The US District Court in the Northern division of Texas has issued an injunction against the ATF enforcement of the new rule, 2021-05f.
The ATF has sent a letter to FFLs regarding Armalite lower receivers. Anyone buying, selling, owning, or otherwise interested in unfinished receivers should read this letter: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/open-letter/all-ffls-september-2022-impact-final-rule-2021-05f-partially-complete-ar/download
Gunfighter Tactical v Bonta is a lawsuit filed against the “fee shifting” provisions of SB1327 has been filed and has been assigned to US Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California. The “fee shifting” can require anyone suing California or any local jurisdiction over Second Amendment rights be liable for the government’s legal fees if not completely successful. This case will be heard by Judge Roger Benitez, of the Southern District for California.
Moren v Liver deals with Massachusetts’ revoking the plaintiff’s firearm license and CCW permit. The plaintiff plead guilty to a non-violent, but CCW related, misdemeanor in the District of Columbia, which caused the state of Massachusetts to permanently revoke his license to purchase firearms. The First Circuit opinion said denying the right to purchase a firearm did not infringe, because there are other ways to obtain a firearm such as inheriting it. The Supreme Court vacated and remanded this lawsuit to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. First Circuit Court of Appeals must now reconsider their ruling in light of the Bruen decision direction.
Nguyen v Bonta is a challenge to the California “1 in 30” law limiting purchases of handguns or center-fire semi-auto rifles to 1 in 30 days. The judge has asked for brief regarding how this case should be handled in light of the Bruen decision.
Duncan v Bonta: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals En Banc panel overturned the district court ruling that found the California “Large Capacity Magazine” ban unconstitutional. Enforcement of the ban was stayed, pending disposition of a petition for certiorari filed with the Supreme Court. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit En Banc judgement and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen. The Ninth Circuit remanded the case back to the district trial court, again to Judge Roger Benitez. Judge Benitez ordered both sides to file briefs regarding how the case should proceed in light of the Bruen decision. Judge Benitez has also clarified that the stay on enforcement of the ban remains in effect until the case is finally resolved.
Campos v Bonta is a suit challenging the DOJ extending the period for completing background check for firearms purchases. The DOJ has been taking more than 10 days to process without appropriate justification. The trial court ruled that the state could only extend the period for specific reasons, as listed in the statute.
Boland v Bonta is a new lawsuit challenging the California “Not-Unsafe” handgun roster. This case is still awaiting scheduling by the court.
Rupp v Bonta, a challenge to the California Assault Weapon Bans, had been pending the Bruen decision. This case has been remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the Bruen decision.
Miller v Bonta, a challenge to the California Assault Weapon Bans, has been pending the Bruen decision. US District court for the California Southern District, judge Roger Benitez, had ruled the law unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated that ruling and remanded the case back to the trial court. Judge Benitez ordered both sides to file briefs regarding how the case should be handled in light of the Bruen decision.
Young v Hawaii challenges the state of Hawaii carry restrictions. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit judgement, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen. The Ninth Circuit remanded the case back to the trial court.
Bianchi v Frosh challenges the Maryland ban on “assault weapons”. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Fourth Circuit judgement, and remanded the case back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen.
Jones v Bonta: A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the California age-based centerfire semi-automatic rifle purchase ban is unconstitutional and that “the district court erred in not enjoining an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles” for young adults. The opinion states that the District Court erred in applying intermediate scrutiny and not strict scrutiny. The trial judge has ordered briefs regarding how this case should proceed in light of the Bruen decision.
Doe v Bonta is a lawsuit filed by the NRA to block the release of gun owner’s personal information to UC Davis and other, unspecified, “research organizations” due to SB 173. Information has already been given to UC Davis and accidentally released to the public. The honorable Larry Alan Burns, the United States District Court Judge hearing the case, has ordered supplemental briefs regarding the effects of NYSRPA v Bruen on the standard to be used in deciding this case.
Renna v Bonta on the California Unsafe handgun roster has been remanded back to the trial court. Currently calendared for March of 2023.
Baird v Bonta challenges the California restrictions on open carry of firearms. The US District court denied a petition for an injunction, so the state can continue enforcing the open carry law.
Nichols v Newsom is a challenge to the California laws against open carry of a firearm. The US District Court ruled the law constitutional and an appeal was pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit, following the Bruen decision has remanded the case back to the trial court.