View Full Version : Relief in sight for California - Safe Gun List Challenged

maestro pistolero
May 1, 2009, 04:44 AM
Alan Gura, Don Kilmer, The SAF and Calguns are at it again! I just read the complaint. They are going after the "safe" firearms list. Very good news.


Al Norris
May 1, 2009, 09:15 AM
Well! This didn't take long at all.

I particularly liked how the complaint juxtaposes the "Safe List" requirements with the "Safe Test" requirements (by the end user). Nice contradiction that will be hard to justify.

May 1, 2009, 11:28 AM
The list is an obvious first choice, the low hanging fruit. The fact that it exempted off duty LEO purchases made it obvious that safety was never a primary goal. So did the renewal fees. So did allowing identical handguns of a different color. :rolleyes:

Hopefully the equally unconstitutional AWB and open carry challenges will follow soon.

May 1, 2009, 11:46 AM
Could somebody educate me a bit on the CA list? How much does it cost for a manufacturer to get a particular model onto the list and keep it there and how much of pain the tush is it? Do they have to go through the same cost and expenses for each different color/size, or is there any streamlining?

May 1, 2009, 12:25 PM

For Immediate Release: 4/30/2009

BELLEVUE, WA and REDWOOD CITY, CA – The Second Amendment Foundation, The Calguns Foundation and four California residents today 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.

California uses this list despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer that protects handguns that ordinary people traditionally use for self-defense, and a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments. The California scheme will eventually ban the purchase of almost all new handguns.

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, noted that California “tells Ivan Peña 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,” Peña 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.

Added SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “The Supreme Court’s decision is crystal clear: Handguns that are used by people for self-defense and other lawful purposes cannot be banned, whether the State likes it or not. California needs to accept the Second Amendment reality.”

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 Peña and Vargas are Doña Croston and Brett Thomas. Doña 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. “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 Mr. 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 Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nations oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and an amicus brief and fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a non-profit legal defense fund for California gun owners. The Calguns foundation works to educate government and the public and protect the rights of individuals to own and lawfully use firearms in California.

Complaint is found here: http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/pena/Pena-v-Cid-complaint.pdf

Tom Servo
May 1, 2009, 12:30 PM
The California Roster is here (http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/safeguns_resp.asp).

Gura's complaint brings up one of the big deficiencies in the logic of such a list. You may have a gun that's approved in its stock form, but a slightly modified version of that gun (which will have a different manufacturer's SKU) will not be on the roster.

For example, a gun with a different finish, or a left-handed version of an approved gun.

The complaint is well-written and argued, which is what I've come to respect from Gura. This guy's really becoming a rock star in the gun culture.

maestro pistolero
May 1, 2009, 03:43 PM
CA Gov was so humiliated by the AWB, with all it's work-arounds (exposing the ridiculousness of it all) they were attempting to leave nothing to chance.

May 1, 2009, 05:46 PM
I read the complaint and it seems very well-drafted. I wish them the best of luck.

maestro pistolero
May 1, 2009, 07:55 PM
I just read it again. Very concise use of language, and right to the point. Any legal eagles out there care to hazard a prediction? What could the time line look like on something like this?

Tom Servo
May 1, 2009, 11:42 PM
Gura knows what he's doing. He carefully tailored the Heller case and chose the perfect plantiff. He held his own in oral arguments, and even when cajoled by Scalia, he stuck to the central question of the case.

He's also doing that here. None of his plantiffs are appealing a criminal conviction (which, face it, does color a case). They are ordinary, law-abiding citizens appealing for relief from unjust regulation.

Two of the plantiff's claims are particularly interesting. The first is from the man missing his right arm, who simply wants a Glock with and ambidextrous magazine release. The model he wants is no different, less safe or more lethal than the already-approved one.

The second is the plantiff who wants a gun that is essentially approved, but which is off limits because it's the wrong color.

Both claims show the fallacy of the system as it's currently implemented. The second could have some interesting ramifications, since it focuses on cosmetic features.

Cosmetic features were (and are) the crux of "assault weapon" bans.

Gura knows his stuff, he drafts a good strategy, and he handles himself well. He's got some serious muscle backing him.

Has the NRA thrown their hat in the ring yet? I haven't heard, but this is still quite new.

One last thought: the Brady/VPC axis crows about California being a model for "commonsense" firearms regulation. I imagine they see the 9th as deserting them in Nordyke, and this could overturn another pillar of their canon.

G. Freeman
May 6, 2009, 05:26 PM
The DOJ approve list was truly bad for CA gunowners. Very very few new guns are being certified because manufacturers are not making new pistols that have both the mag disconnect and loaded chamber indicator as described by the DOJ. And I do not blame these manufacturers. California legislators have been out of control for sometime now. I thought it was just a matter of time that the stream of new handgun technology will be forever be banned from the CA residents.

I'm very happy of this new challenge to that DOJ system. Just wondering how long this insanity will take. I for one feel it's almost over for this state. The CFLC system, AB 962, etc. Having been a gun owner for almost 20 years, I've only seen gun rights infringements get worse, not better. Obama doesn't even worry me, since CA laws are more restrictive it appears than the AWB.

Just my opinion.

May 10, 2009, 10:44 PM
stupid gun laws...

fight them.

Fight them here.

Even if you don't live here.

Because what stands in California will be coming your way... even if you live in Texas.

We write off states at the peril of all of our rights. Win in the 9th Circuit, as we are doing, and Hawaii and the Marianas, with the most restrictive gun laws in the country, fall as well. Then we take the fight to New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts.

Of course, when we win, some people are going to have to find something else to feel superior about.

Sometimes I wonder if everyone wants us to win.


June 13, 2009, 09:11 PM
any update on this?

Tom Servo
June 13, 2009, 10:46 PM
According to CalGuns,
Complaint filed April 30, 2009, awaiting response from the Defendants. The case number is 2:09-cv-01185. Defendants were served on May 14, 2009 and subsequently asked for a 30 day extension to respond making California's response due July 6, 2009.

November 4, 2009, 04:53 PM
Well, it's officially November...

...did I miss something?

Tom Servo
November 4, 2009, 06:40 PM
The case is on hold (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Pena_v_Cid) until Nordyke and McDonald are resolved.

November 6, 2009, 12:39 AM
So when are Nordyke and McDonald supposed to be resolved?

I believe this is not the only case pending the resolution of Nordyke and McDonald.

Tom Servo
November 6, 2009, 01:13 AM
McDonald (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=373086) is waiting to be heard by the Supreme Court next year, and the Nordyke panel is likely waiting for that wind to blow.

November 8, 2009, 12:16 AM
Single actions were specifically exempt from the list. Anybody that has ever carried or shot the, insanely popular, 1873 SAA or a clone knows that these guns are dangerous to carry with a cartridge under the hammer. Safety was never, even remotely, a consideration in this disgusting piece of legislation brought to you by the idiots that rule our state.

November 9, 2009, 05:40 PM
californias gun laws motivated me to go back to school and become a nurse so I could move out of this state. I just passed my state board exam to become a nurse so I'm out of here ! Dont worry about me moving to your state I dont have a liberal bone in my entire body and neither do my family members . I just want to live some place where I can buy a rifle that is similiar to the m16 I had in the army. I loved that rifle! It doesnt matter if californias gun laws get better because they will just restrict the ammo.:mad: