California’s Gun Waiting Period Being Challenged In Federal Lawsuit
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit in California challenging the state’s 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases on Second Amendment grounds.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. SAF is joined by the North County Shooting Center, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, PWGG LLP, John Phillips, Alisha Curtin, Dakota Adelphia, Michael Schwartz, Darin Prince and Claire Richards. They are represented by attorneys Bradley A. Benbrook and Stephen M. Duvernay at Benbrook Law Group in Sacramento. Defendants are Attorney General Rob Bonta and Allison Mendoza, director of the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms, in their official capacities. The case is known as Richards v. Bonta.
“A right delayed is a right denied,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “There is nothing in the Second Amendment about waiting more than a week in order to exercise the right to keep and bear arms. California’s waiting period relegates the Second Amendment to the status of a government-regulated privilege, in direct conflict to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared in its 2008 Heller ruling that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.”
SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut noted the Golden State’s waiting period restriction “isn’t analogous to any constitutionally relevant history and tradition of regulating firearms.”
“Where this really gets silly,” observed Kraut, who is a practicing attorney, “is when the waiting period restriction even applies to a gun buyer who already owns other firearms. Not to mention, those who are looking to acquire a firearm for protection immediately do not have the luxury of waiting ten days. Long story short, the state’s ten-day waiting period must be declared unconstitutional and enjoined, which is the purpose of our lawsuit. We’re asking the court for injunctive and declaratory relief.”
“There’s a Fourteenth Amendment aspect to this case,” Gottlieb added. “The state broadly discriminates against average citizens by allowing exemptions to nearly two-dozen categories of favored individuals who can take possession of firearms without having to endure the delay, which violates the Equal Protection clause. We’re hoping to bring this practice to an end.”
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.