March 2, 2024
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The State of California is stalling, trying to delay the inevitable ruling that the ban on semiautomatic rifles is unconstitutional. file photo iStock

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in the case of Miller v. Bonta, challenging California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons,” have filed a responding brief in the case, countering defense arguments and strategies already rejected by federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Our reply takes the state to task for going directly against the instructions of the federal court,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The state spent its entire 25-page brief trying to re-litigate the case, essentially arguing for ‘interest balancing’ by the court, which the Supreme Court nixed last year in its landmark Bruen ruling. The only logical conclusion is that the State of California is stalling, trying to delay the inevitable ruling that the ban on semiautomatic rifles is unconstitutional.”

SAF is joined by the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee, California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition and four private citizens, including James Miller, for whom the case is named. They are represented by attorneys George M. Lee at Seiler Epstein, LLP and John W. Dillon at the Dillon Law Group, APC. The case is now before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Plaintiffs note in their response brief;

“The State’s attempt to ignore this Court’s instructions and introduce last-minute further “expert testimony” offered in other cases on the ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ question—which has already been settled by this Court—is also a naked appeal to interest balancing and is irrelevant to the question of historical analogues requested by this Court (and required under Bruen). At this point, Defendants are simply padding the record with old (and misplaced) arguments and extraneous declarations.”

“It seems clear to us the state is trying to revive arguments they cannot use because they have no historical evidence to support their gun ban,” Gottlieb observed. “The court shouldn’t tolerate such legal shenanigans, which ultimately attempt to reframe this case into a policy matter, which boils down to whether average citizens ‘need’ a semiautomatic firearm.

“The Supreme Court already settled this,” he continued. “It’s not up to the government to make that choice, it’s up to the American people, and their rights are not subject to public opinion polls or the whims of anti-gun politicians in Sacramento.”


The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s 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 720,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

Second Amendment Foundation

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