May 3, 2009

Four Californians Challenge State's Handgun Ban Scheme

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Four California residents have filed a lawsuit challenging a California state law and regulatory scheme that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of "certified" handguns approved by the state.

This case parallels a similar case filed in Washington, DC, Hanson v. District of Columbia. Co-plaintiffs are the Second Amendment Foundation and the Calguns Foundation.

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, noted that California "tells Ivan Pena that his rights have an expiration date based on payment of a government fee. Americans are not limited to a government list of approved books, or approved religions," he said. "A handgun protected by the Second Amendment does not need to appear on any government-approved list and cannot be banned because a manufacturer does not pay a special annual fee." "The Para Ordnance P-13 was once approved for sale in California," Pena noted, "but now that a manufacturer didn't pay a yearly fee, California claims the gun I want to own has somehow become 'unsafe'."

"The Glock-21 is the handgun I would choose for home defense, but California has decided the version I need is unacceptable. I was born without a right arm below my elbow and therefore the new ambidextrous version of the Glock-21 is the safest one for me. The identical model designed for right hand use is available in California, but I can't use it," said plaintiff Roy Vargas.

Co-counsel Jason Davis remarked, "The California Handgun Roster has always been about making the possession of handguns for self defense more difficult by imposing arbitrary and unconstitutional restrictions that limit choice and increase the cost of exercising a fundamental right."

Joining plaintiffs Pena and Vargas are Dona Croston and Brett Thomas. Dona Croston's handgun would be allowed if it were black, green, or brown, but her bi-tone version is supposedly 'unsafe' merely based on color.

Croston said, "I didn't realize that my constitutional rights depended on color. What is it about two colors that makes the gun I want to purchase 'unsafe'?"

Brett Thomas seeks to own the same model of handgun that the Supreme Court ordered District of Columbia officials to register for Dick Heller. However, that particular model is no longer manufactured, and its maker is no longer available to process the handgun's certification through the bureaucracy. "There is only one model of handgun that the Supreme Court has explicitly ruled is protected by the Second Amendment and yet California will not allow me to purchase that gun," said Thomas.

"The so-called 'safe' gun list is just another gun-grabbing gimmick," said co-counsel Donald Kilmer. "California can't get around the Second Amendment, as incorporated, by declaring most normal guns 'unsafe,' and gradually shrinking the number of so-called 'safe' guns to zero."

The Calguns Foundation (www.CalGunsFoundation.org) is a non-profit legal defense fund for California gun owners.

Comments (17)

Believe me we are working on that too.

Posted by: Ivanimal | May 31, 2009 2:56 AM    Report this comment

It would have been nice if the SC had in the Heller vedict clarified what infringment means. Heh AR15 build what you want but beware of who you tell, this board is public, and I would not be surpriced if the Anti-Constitution thugs who work in the State of CA cruise these sites looking for enemies of the state. But if these law suite win pehaps gun lists and Magazine bans will be a thing of the past.

Posted by: JHMAN | May 30, 2009 1:00 PM    Report this comment

Being a resident of CA, I have recently got over my fear of the gun control jerks and am building my Militia weapon of choice: an AR15 from a LEGAL OFF-LIST LOWER. I want all the so called EVIL features so for the time being it will have the "Bullet Button" and a whimpy 10 Rounder. We'll just have to be accurate, boys. Get them in our sights. My other gun is a pricey H & K .45 ten rounder because the Taurus is listed for "law enforcement only."
What part of "shall not be infringed" don't they understand?

Posted by: AR15 @71 | May 29, 2009 12:23 AM    Report this comment

Being a resident of CA, I have recently got over my fear of the gun control jerks and am building my Militia weapon of choice: an AR15 from a LEGAL OFF-LIST LOWER. I want all the so called EVIL features so for the time being it will have the "Bullet Button" and a whimpy 10 Rounder. We'll just have to be accurate, boys. Get them in our sights. My other gun is a pricey H & K .45 ten rounder because the Taurus is listed for "law enforcement only."
What part of "shall not be infringed" don't they understand?

Posted by: AR15 @71 | May 29, 2009 12:15 AM    Report this comment

Good for you bear1 and thanks for your service by the way. If you don't fight, you'll never win. I will have a little money on the way payday to help Cal gun owners. You guys remeber you're not alone. California is too great a state to leave to the damn marxists of the world. Lock and load guys. I'm proud of your spirit. I don't know that I'd be as up as y'all are If I were out there.

Posted by: Tim C | May 22, 2009 9:55 AM    Report this comment

Thanks for your support. Please donate to the SAF if able and if you are in CA please join calguns.net and help us fight the good fight. A few can do a lot. You just have to believe.

Ivan Peña

Posted by: Ivanimal | May 19, 2009 11:00 PM    Report this comment

JHMAN, YOU HAVE A GOOD POINT, and being a disabled Veteran I give to the SAF and NRA every chance I can and what I can even if It isn't what they ask for, but it is what I can and I try to keep up my membership. You are also right on getting rid of Boxer, Fienstien and Pelosie is almost imposable, but we can always hope, pray, and vote against them every chance we get, I know I do and try to get everyone I can to also.

Posted by: bear1 | May 18, 2009 2:03 PM    Report this comment

It's high time the people of Northern California take back their State from the "Bank Books for Brains" Southern Californians. I say let's give them a hand by boycotting the movie and tv industry. Money is power, so let's use ours in support of our fellow Freedom Loving Californian brothers and sisters. Let's spend our time writing emails to the Sponsors of the "Bank Books for Brains" and tell them we don't want spend our hard earned money supporting industries that rob our fellow citizens of their God-given and Constitutionally protected right to self- defense. Money talks, so let's use ours to help scream for Freedom in California. "2010 NOT AGAIN" take our country back via the ballot box.

Posted by: TBILL | May 9, 2009 5:42 PM    Report this comment

JEFFW you can bet i am hopin an prayin that this case is a win for all of us in Calif. I keep takin to the Reps here and sending letters and emails ( both state and the fed reps) in hopes that they just might get some good ol common since but it seems the only thing they listen to is a good ol court case when the ain't got the money to fight it. I keep supporting these good patriots in the good fight for us all and I will try to keep up the fight I took an oath to up hold and our constatutional rights as long as I can. God Bless the Free America and Thank You All that has Served like I have to Keep It that way.

Posted by: bear1 | May 9, 2009 12:41 AM    Report this comment

I think Californians just need to step forward and take action in defending their constitutional rights. I would think that the NRA or John Birch Society would see this an an opening to help Americans maintain their god given rights to defend themselves at all times.

Posted by: JWallace | May 8, 2009 1:33 PM    Report this comment

Ca. has no money to go to court. Smart money would inundate the dockets with the same argument and over run the legislature.

Posted by: Sharps | May 7, 2009 10:23 PM    Report this comment

You should contact the NRA and the CRPA and tell them you'd like to volunteer.

Posted by: fenchel2c | May 7, 2009 8:39 PM    Report this comment

Point me to a lawyer willing to work with me and I'll be one of the brave Californians you mention. I'm tired of the indiscriminate picking away at our rights.

Posted by: tomengbeck | May 7, 2009 8:33 PM    Report this comment

Point me to a lawyer willing to work with me and I'll be one of the brave Californians you mention. I'm tired of the indiscriminate picking away at our rights.

Posted by: tomengbeck | May 7, 2009 8:33 PM    Report this comment

Now we need some brave Californians to challenge the constitutionality of Cal's concealed carry law. It's time to take the power away from police chiefs to determine who gets a permit and switch to a "shall issue" law like the majority of states..

Posted by: fenchel2c | May 7, 2009 11:01 AM    Report this comment

As a native Californian I sincerely applaud the actions of these individuals. This "safe gun list" has precluded Californian's from bringing into this state such "unsafe guns" as the S&W revolvers from the 1950's, classic Colt 1911's and the like. The State dictates the "safety" of handgun by a fee paid by the manufacturer. It all about the money. It has nothing to do with the safe operation of the gun. The test is joke and totally arbitrary. I wish this group all the luck in the world as they will be fighting the entrenched liberal elite that hold the majority of power in this state. Those folks would like to ban ALL guns, not just handguns. Now if they can get this up and running and eliminate this "safe gun" list, maybe there is hope for the magazine limit ban and then maybe for the legalization of the Black Rifle once and for all time! Just let me know what I can do to assist this cause or to make a contribution. By the way, where is the NRA or CRPA in this fight?

Posted by: MasterGuide | May 7, 2009 9:27 AM    Report this comment

It sounds like California will lose this case. I'm predicting this case will force the state to remove these unconstitutional laws from the books. I can already hear Bear1 cheering because of the outcome.

Posted by: JWallace | May 3, 2009 10:49 PM    Report this comment

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