When we talk about gun laws in the United States, a few states come to mind as being the strictest. California, unsurprisingly, is one of them.
However, thanks to a Monday ruling by a federal judge, a few of the state’s restrictions just got shut down.
Enter US District Judge Cormac J. Carney of California’s Central District. He was appointed in 2003 by then-President George W. Bush and has a wealth of knowledge about both state and federal laws, which he has vowed to protect.
This, of course, is bad news for California legislators hellbent on installing new or amended laws that violate our Constitutional rights, such as the Second Amendment.
The ruling comes as yet another amendment has been made to the Golden State’s infamous Unsafe Handguns Act. Originally, the law was passed in 2001, amended in 2007, and once again in 2013. According to its creators and those still pushing it, it is designed to make handguns sold in the state safer and, therefore, less likely to cause accidents, as well as to help solve rising crime rates.
However, as Carney just beautifully exhibited, the law does none of that in actuality. Instead, it clearly limits and violates the right of Californians to “keep and bear arms for self-defense.” And so, he’s struck the law down in its entirety.
In his 22-page ruling, Carney explains, first and foremost, that Californians, just like all Americans, are indeed entitled to own and operate guns. He calls it a “fundamental” right, which requires government proof that any such related laws are actually meant to do things like “reducing accidental discharges or solving crime.”
Additionally, they obviously should be consistent with the traditional firearms regulations of the nation, as well as the Constitution.
And according to Carney, the Unsafe Handguns Act does none of those.
This is first exhibited by the amendments of 2007 and then 2013, both of which add certain requirements for all handguns being sold in the state.
In 2007, the law said that all for-sale handguns must have an indicator that tells whether or not a round is in the chamber and ready to be fired. Another mechanism was required to ensure that the gun would not fire if the magazine were not fully or correctly attached.
In 2013, an additional mechanism was required. Known as microstamping, it’s a technology that “stamps” the weapon’s make and serial number on each and every round expelled by it.
The problem, as Carney explains, is that these now-required additions make it nearly impossible to sell or buy guns in the state, as there is literally “no handgun available in the world” with all three of those features.
The first two are easy enough to find in most modern handguns. However, the third, microstamping, is nearly impossible to find. And certainly not in combination with the other two.
Why? Well, as the ruling states, the technology just isn’t all that “feasible” or “commercially practical.” In fact, it literally does not exist for commercial weapons.
This means that, since 2013, “not a single new semiautomatic handgun has been approved for sale in California.”
Now, it’s important to point out this doesn’t mean no guns have been sold since 2013 or 2007. However, it does mean that all of those for sale in the state is at least a decade or more old.
Clearly, that’s a problem.
Another is that the so-called reasons for instituting these requirements don’t align with tradition or the Constitution.
According to those behind the gun control law, these restrictions fall in line with the “proving” or inspection process that existed in early American life, when weapons were graded on whether or not they could 1) fire and 2) shoot a reasonable distance. Another early regulation had to do with gunpowder storage – to prevent accidental fires.
But as Carney explains, the new requirements don’t serve to determine any of that. Instead, they just limit the ability to either buy or fire their weapons.
Not only is the law not consistent with historical traditions and regulations, but it is also plainly limiting the ability of citizens to even own modern weapons.
And so Carney issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law completely.