June 2017

A Piece of ‘Gunmageddon’ Challenged

Todd Woodard

The California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) and several individual plaintiffs have filed an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA).

The suit, Rupp v. Becerra, seeks to have the courts declare the AWCA unconstitutional because it infringes on the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

The AWCA makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, transport, import or transfer hundreds of popular and commonly owned semi-automatic firearms the state tags as “assault weapons.” This means it is illegal for owners to transfer or sell these firearms to anyone in California, including to their own children or heirs upon death. And owners themselves will be violating the law by continuing to possess their firearms unless they register them as “assault weapons” with the state.

The Rupp case was filed in direct response to a number of anti-gun-owner laws, including the expanded “assault weapon” statute, which were signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2016. Collectively, those new gun bans have become known as “gunmageddon” among California’s roughly 10 million gun owners.

At the time of this writing, an interesting bill in the Keystone State was moving through the General Assembly. HB 671 would toughen existing law to ensure that firearms and ammunition laws are consistent throughout the state. It’s needed because many local governments have enacted gun-control ordinances in violation of the current preemption law. There aren’t penalties for disobedience in the current preemption statute, so officials are free to create a patchwork of regulations that could ensnare citizens in local restrictions they didn’t even know existed. Legislation similar to HB 671 was signed by former Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014, but was struck down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year for a violation of the “single subject” rule for legislative process.

In New Jersey, a decorated Marine veteran facing a mandatory three years behind bars on a gun charge will not be going to prison after all. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie commuted Marine Sergeant Hisashi Pompey’s sentence in April. Six years ago during a visit to New Jersey, Pompey was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, which was legally registered in Virginia. Pompey had lost an appeal and was set to surrender to authorities when Gov. Christie threw Pompey a lifeline. However, the commuted sentence does not expunge the arrest from Pompey’s record; it simply removes the punishment that resulted from the arrest.

Comments (3)

I object in general to legislation banning or restricting "assault weapons." "Assault weapon" is is a nebulous term that can apply to anything to a sharpened stick to a car (all of which can be used to assault someone), and as used in most legislation, depends more on emotion, looks, and whatever the gun used in the last mass shooting was. It has no exact definition; the definition the antigun lobby gives changes all the time, and varies from state to state. Assault rifle dies have an exact definition, but almost none of the rifles civilians may own under most circumstances (even civilianized military rifles) fit the definition of an Assault Rifle.

Make no mistake -- I'm not a gun nut -- I think that existing firearms legislation is not properly enforced in too many cases, that there are shocking holes in the laws, that the list of those who may not own firearms is not properly kept up to date and is not complete by a long shot, and that the Second Amendment is obsolete and needs to be superseded by one that better addresses private ownership of firearms without mixing it up with a definition of a militia that has been out of date since the National Guard was formed in 1903.

But you can't in all honesty base legislation on a term that has no definition, and therefore, no value. Such a law essentially negates itself.

Posted by: pmulcahy11b | February 20, 2018 2:52 AM    Report this comment

Hi Todd; A comment on your Aug. 2017 articular, "Return of the Remington R51. I have carried a Kel -Tec PF-9 for about 4 years. I love it !! I feel that if you are going to buy a self defense hand gun or carbine it MUST have a Rail for mounting accessories !! None of the others have a Rail. I would not even consider such. Each night I mount my "Insight X2 light and laser " in case the need arises in the dark it is ready to go. Also the PF-9 has a hammer so I can put my Thumb over it when holstering which is a huge safety factor !!
Dennis R. Allshouse
NRA Life Member

Posted by: GrayStash | August 3, 2017 11:51 AM    Report this comment

The first massacre I remember that sickened me from the details of the people being trapped by a Cold Blooded Murder, was the "San Ysidro McDonald's massacre" near San Diego, CALIFORNIA on July 18, 1994. For 1 hour and 18 minutes, he slaughtered 21 innocent victims and wounded 19 others before a sniper was Finally killed him! I thought it so terrible that there was not a single person there that "Legally Carried" a gun to Defend ANYONE! The First Emergency calls began minutes after he began, yet They ALL had to rely on Police to arrive and, still wait, and die, waiting, All That Time.

Posted by: Capgun | June 1, 2017 5:44 PM    Report this comment

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