A Federal Judge Looks at a California Gun Law and Says, 'Bye!'

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

California’s “gun roster” law has been ruled unconstitutional, and the judge has ordered a preliminary injunction to stop it. And with the decision, a major Leftist anti-gun trope was targeted.


California U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that the California Unsafe Handgun Act’s creation of a “gun roster” of acceptable handguns for serfs to own is unconstitutional and ordered an injunction stopping its implementation. Expect it to be appealed by the defendant in the case, California’s Attorney General Robert Bonta, though he doesn’t have much left to go on after this decision.

This so-called “gun roster” is a list of handguns that state apparatchiks allow California serfs to own. You’ll recall the quaint notion that citizens are imbued with the ability to keep and bear arms as a God-given right acknowledged in the Second Amendment. The roster prevented guns from being sold that had a “chamber load indicator, a magazine disconnect mechanism, [and] microstamping capability.”

Gun rights attorney Chuck Michel of the California Rifle and Pistols Association said that the net effect of the gun roster was to leave Californians “with a very, very small selection of older models to choose from. Imagine Cuba, where you’re driving cars from the ’50s because you can’t get the new cars down there. That’s kinda how it was with these handguns. They’re all older models.”

And Michel says it was nearly impossible to add a gun to the roster. “If a manufacturer added only one twist to a spring, that was considered a new model and they had to get it reapproved,” Michel says. It was clearly an intentional impediment to the right to keep and bear arms.


The District Court judge agreed.

Californians have the constitutional right to acquire and use state-of-the-art handguns to protect themselves. They should not be forced to settle for decade-old models of handguns to ensure that they remain safe inside or outside the home. But unfortunately, the UHA’s CLI, MDM, and microstamping requirements do exactly that.

Furthermore, the judge said, “no handgun available in the world has all three of these features.”

Indeed, Michel says technology hasn’t caught up with reality for gun microstamping or the act of transferring “microscopic characters representing the handgun’s make, model, and serial number onto shell casings when the handgun is fired,” in the words of the decision.

As the judge noted, “the microstamping requirement has prevented any new handgun models from being added to the Roster since May 2013,” which obviously is a feature, not a bug, of California’s now-deposed law.

Judge Carney said enforcing the California law “implicates the plain text of the Second Amendment, and [because] the government fails to point to any well-established historical analogues that are consistent with them, those requirements are unconstitutional.” Boom. There goes one of the Left’s dumbest arguments against the Second Amendment that goes something like this: Americans should only be able to use guns such as muskets available at the time the Constitution was written.


The California Attorney General argued that guns not included on the roster were “unsafe.” But the judge wasn’t buying it. He wrote, “if Off-Roster firearms were truly unsafe, California would not allow law enforcement to use them in the line of duty when the stakes are highest. But the substantial majority of California’s law enforcement officers use Off-Roster handguns in the line of duty.”

Related: West Coast, Messed Coast™: The Left’s Unconstitutional Assault on Guns

While Oregon and Washington Leftists continue to flood the legislative zone with gun-grabbing measures in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, California, of all places, is showing the way forward.

But Leftists continue to offer up and pass clearly unconstitutional gun legislation. As Oregon Firearms Federation’s Kevin Starrett notes, “Democrats have no concern about passing unconstitutional laws. If they pass YOU will have to pay to fight them in court while paying for lawyers on both sides of the fight.”


This is true of the gun battle throughout the country.

But at least with this ruling — until this injunction is appealed and it will be — California, for once, is showing the way how to fight the gun grabbers.

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