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Old December 8, 2018, 04:36 PM   #1
JDBerg
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Ninth Circuit Court Upholds California’s Unsafe Handgun Act

After two different Ninth Circuit court panels surprisingly upheld 2A rights by (temporarily) blocking California’s confiscation of large-capacity magazines and Hawaii’s ban on open carry, the Ninth Circuit returned to its liberal agenda. In a ruling this past August, it upheld one of the most ridiculous nonsensical state gun regulations in the nation. It did so by approving a legal mandate that will inevitably lead to diminishing options for California citizens who seek to lawfully exercise their constitutional right to self-defense.

California’s Unsafe Handgun Act requires new handguns sold in the state to have three key safety features. First, new guns must have a loaded chamber indicator. Second, new guns must have a magazine disconnect. Finally, the third, most futile provision requires new handguns to be capable of microscopically imprinting the handgun’s make, model, and serial number onto each fired casing.

The Unsafe Handgun Act is just nothing but problematic. For one thing, to quote the Ninth Circuit Court majority opinion: “According to the [plaintiffs], no handguns were available in the United States that met the microstamping requirements. The record does not indicate whether and how these figures have changed over time.”

California grants its citizens permission to buy guns that don’t meet the letter of the law, since there are no guns on the market that are “legal”. This is accomplished by grandfathering in a defined Department of Justice list of makes and models of handguns exempted from this Unsafe Handgun Act legislation. Those familiar with this list know full well that it doesn't include a number of the most current and popular firearms models commonly available to gun buyers living in other states. Gun manufacturers must pay the State of California a fee to keep their weapons on the DOJ list. And those familiar with this list know that the list is shrinking fast. Facts are that at the end of 2013, the CDOJ’s handgun roster of approved firearms contained 1,273 handguns and 883 semiautomatics. As of the date of the Ninth Circuit’s oral argument in March 2017, it contained 744 handguns and 496 semiautomatics.” That’s a loss of hundreds of weapons on the CA DOJ’s roster in under four years.

There is no doubt that this Unsafe Handgun Act law represents slow-rolling prohibition of firearms in California state firearms legislation. And imagine if California passes the “Unsafe Automobile Act”. This could state that all new cars sold in California had to either a) come from a roster of models approved by the state only after their manufacturers paid a fee, or b) be able to fly. Each year thereafter the approved roster of cars approved for sale in CA shrinks as carmakers either discontinued models or refused to pay the fees. And each year carmakers would refuse to design and build flying cars.

The Ninth Circuit court judges might believe that such a law was perfectly fine, because shrinking consumer choice is irrelevant so long as the public can still buy something from a restricted choice list, but which still serves the intended purpose of firearms ownership under 2A. It wouldn’t even matter to the Ninth Circuit court if no firearms manufacturer was even trying to produce a gun which met California’s microstamping requirement.

This probably amounts to what the Ninth Circuit panel thinks about California’s gun legislation. The majority in the Unsafe Handgun Act lawsuit actually wrote this: “Simply because no gun manufacturer is ‘even considering trying’ to implement the technology, it does not follow that microstamping is technologically infeasible.” It also wrote this: “Simply showing that the number of [handguns] on the [CDOJ] roster has decreased does not tell us much about whether the availability of handguns has declined in a way relevant to the Second Amendment. It is not the number of handguns on the roster that matters, it is the impact on self-defense in the home.”

I’m left with the impression that the Ninth Circuit panel would be completely untroubled even if the legal market in CA shrank to a revolver or two. After all, citizens could still buy “a” gun, correct?

The Ninth Circuit ignored SCOTUS Justice Scalia’s finding that the Second Amendment protects weapons in “common use” for “lawful purposes.” Instead, the Ninth Circuit’s opinion endorsed banning guns in common use so long as consumers can buy other weapons that in the subjective and uninformed opinion of the court considers sufficient for self-defense in the home.

SCOTUS has to step in to rule on ridiculous, unenforceable gun legislation at the state level, such as California’s Unsafe Handgun Act. One potential cause for optimism is that with Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, SCOTUS will be less reluctant to hear a 2A case on appeal from a lower court. If the highest court can affirm two simple truths, first, the right to bear arms protects open or concealed carry outside the home and, second, that a “Common-Use Standard” means what it says, it will go a long way toward settling most of the contentious gun-control cases of our times.

Applying this common-sense logic to gun legislation at the states level would mean there would be a right to carry in all 50 states. That would mean that virtually all assault-weapons bans throughout the U.S. would fail. In addition, the “Common-Use Standard” throughout the United States could be applied to mag capacity laws on a host of lawful weapons. And it would also mean that California’s slow-motion tide on gun prohibition would be set aside. In short, it would mean that the Second Amendment would finally take its rightful place as an individual right with just as much meaning as each of the other individual rights in the Bill of Rights.

The Ninth Circuit has thrown down yet another gauntlet. I say It’s time for SCOTUS to respond.
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Last edited by JDBerg; December 8, 2018 at 05:06 PM.
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Old December 8, 2018, 07:32 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
This probably amounts to what the Ninth Circuit panel thinks about California’s gun legislation. The majority in the Unsafe Handgun Act lawsuit actually wrote this: “Simply because no gun manufacturer is ‘even considering trying’ to implement the technology, it does not follow that microstamping is technologically infeasible.” It also wrote this: “Simply showing that the number of [handguns] on the [CDOJ] roster has decreased does not tell us much about whether the availability of handguns has declined in a way relevant to the Second Amendment. It is not the number of handguns on the roster that matters, it is the impact on self-defense in the home.
Once again perverting Heller to suggest that the 2nd Amendment applies ONLY to self defense in the home.
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Old Yesterday, 03:37 AM   #3
armoredman
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Ad the 1st used Scalia's dicta on "no right is unlimited" to uphold a Massachusetts law. I'd say SCOTUS needs to use some vehicle to reinforce and purify Heller and McDonald. However, I' just a non lawyer enthusiast with no clear understanding of the workings of the courts.
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Old Yesterday, 04:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
I’m left with the impression that the Ninth Circuit panel would be completely untroubled even if the legal market in CA shrank to a revolver or two. After all, citizens could still buy “a” gun, correct?
I'd say that sounds like a reasonable assessment of their behavior.

There are a number of people (and unfortunately some of them are in positions of power) who believe that as long as we can have some kind of gun (and I think they would prefer us to have muzzleloaders if they could manage it) our right to arms is not infringed.


If I recall correctly, the CA Unsafe Handgun act was sold to the legislators and he public to be about actual "safety" standards which, at the time, were things such as frame melting point, and drop test safety.

The requirement for microstamping is the cherry on top, something added a few years ago, and then put on hold by the courts, as the microstamping process was, at the time held under patent by one company. After that patent expired, the court order allowed the requirement for microstamping to be part of the law.

I had not heard, until now that they had changed the microstamping requirement to include the handgun make, model, and serial number.

Quote:
“Simply because no gun manufacturer is ‘even considering trying’ to implement the technology, it does not follow that microstamping is technologically infeasible.”
I think the plain English translation of this statement is "simply because we have adopted an unreasonable requirement doesn't mean we think we have adopted an unreasonable requirement."

I also wonder how the requirement for loaded chamber indicators and magazine disconnects is applied to revolvers? Or are they exempt? Or totally banned??

CA politicians are used to getting their own way. They have set standards for all kinds of things which at the time meant manufacturers had to virtually create new product or specific variants in order to sell them in CA. While this does work with things like cars and their gasoline, where CA is a huge market, and there is enough profit per unit to allow manufacturers to absorb the added cost of being CA compliant (and passing it on to the consumers, ultimately), adding the now CA required capability for microstamping to existing handguns AND their methods of manufacture are cost prohibitive.

Literally, losing CA business will cost gunmakers LESS than complying with the CA law. Some gun makers have publicly stated they will not attempt to comply with the microstamping law, and some (Barrett, for one) ADVERTISES that they will not do business with the government of CA.

It is not the function of our courts to determine if a law violates reason, or common sense. It is the function of those courts to determine if a law violates the established boundaries and framework for being a law.

The 9th Circuit is very good at that.
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Old Yesterday, 06:08 AM   #5
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SCOTUS needs to act and act as soon as possible on these BS rulings; not just from the Ninth Circus but there are a few others out there that need to be spanked. Third circuit ruled the 2nd is a second rate amendment and not entitled to the full protections of other enumerated rights. I'm not even sure how you rate amendments.
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Old Yesterday, 06:59 AM   #6
Nathan
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You guys are looking at this wrong.

I get that the face of the law says what it says. Where is the loophole that allows them to have all the guns and gun handlers they so desire? The wealthiest Californians and law makers are not going to be without complete freedom to buy/own any gun they want.

We need to start exposing those loopholes as they are very real. Why don’t ALL Californian’s get held to the same law. Is it some security license exemption? Class 3 license exemption?
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Old Yesterday, 12:23 PM   #7
JDBerg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan:
The wealthiest Californians and law makers are not going to be without complete freedom to buy/own any gun they want.
The wealthiest Californians and lawmakers have bodyguards and security who by nature of their occupation, have access to non-roster “unsafe” firearms.
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Last edited by JDBerg; Yesterday at 12:28 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 01:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JDBerg View Post
The wealthiest Californians and lawmakers have bodyguards and security who by nature of their occupation, have access to non-roster “unsafe” firearms.


THIS RIGHT HERE is what the NRA should be using as ammunition (pun intended) against these left wing hacks. They should be highlighting the private security weapons used by the very people who argue against firearms. They should be posting ads and YouTube and Facebook videos asking WHY these “elites” get this protection, but a young single mother in the ghetto doesn’t. In fact? That young single mother’s life is more valuable than every politician in Kalifornia. Why? Because they are disposable and they can be replaced. She can’t.

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