In a hard reversal from the earlier sentiment on guns out of the 9th Circus that gave the right to carry (see our disclaimer though) back to the western states, the west's highest court last Friday ruled that California's newest handgun regulations do not infringe on the right to buy guns — despite those regulations mandating the use of a technology which doesn't fully exist yet.
A three-judge Ninth Circuit panel made the ruling on Friday at the San Francisco high court, casting a summary judgment in favor of the state in which the court found that the Unsafe Handgun Act was constitutional, since it only regulates commercial sales of handguns and not possession of one.
This should be obviously ridiculous to anyone reading, since the micro-stamping requirement is prohibitively expensive for both gun buyers and sellers and will almost certainly outright end all new retail handgun buying and selling in the state until it gets overturned. This is pretty easy to demonstrate; since the law was passed in 2013, not one new commercial handgun has been sold anywhere in California.
What the 9th Circuit has just unwittingly done is opened the door wide for not only California to become the Mecca of 3D printing of firearms technology, but also for gun smuggling operations which might eventually get so well developed that they could rival the Russian Mafia.
The Second Amendment Foundation and the Calguns Foundation had launched the lawsuit along with several private parties, charging that California’s requirements severely limited the ability of Californians to buy handguns, in direct conflict with the Second Amendment, as well as a violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
They lost the first round at the Eastern District of California's federal appeals court and were hoping to prevail here, but the Ninth's ruling suggests that Heller allows for the state to place regulations on firearms. Apparently they never read the majority opinion written by Antonin Scalia, noting the allowance for firearms in "common use." The microstamping requirement alone takes every new otherwise common gun in possession today and removes it from accessibility completely — common use be damned.
Later that same day, a separate Ninth Circuit panel dismissed a challenge to the California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act 2015 amendment, which bans firearms within 1,000 feet of a school.
Originally, that law exempted both retired police officers and anyone with a conceal carry permit, but in 2015 an amendment was added that removed the exception for permit holders.
The challenge to the amendment was based on it the claim that it was enacted to favor retired peace officers, who at least in California don't seem to particularly like regular citizens having guns. The dismissal was on the grounds that the plaintiffs hadn’t offered proof of s this intention by the state legislature.
In other words, here's what just happened:
- One group has their rights taken away, while another doesn't.
- The first group sues, claiming unfairness.
- The 9th Circuit rejects their suit, saying that just because the legislature took their rights away, that's not proof that the legislature doesn't like them — and so therefore, the ruling should stand.
You can't even make up stuff like this.
Disclaimer: please don't go carrying openly anywhere in the 9th Circuit states out west if you don't have a permit to carry and need one in that state. You will still probably get arrested. Unless of course you intentionally want to be the test case for the Supreme Court and think it'll get that far — in that case, be our guest.