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.