Second Amendment Foundation Files “Assault Weapon” Lawsuit

Ryan Salmon fires an assault rifle at the Lynchburg Arms & Indoor Shooting Range in Lynchburg, Virginia, on October 20, 2017. (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)Ryan Salmon fires an assault rifle at the Lynchburg Arms & Indoor Shooting Range in Lynchburg, Virginia, on October 20, 2017. (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the State of California challenging the newest regulations on so-called “assault weapons” and alleging that, as promulgated, they violate the state Administrative Procedures Act. The suit is Holt et. al. v. Becerra et. al.

Joining SAF are the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and several individual California citizens. Named as defendants are state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the California Department of Justice, along with Stephen Lindley, chief of the Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms; Debra M. Cornez, director of the Office of Administrative Law and Betty T. Yee, California state controller.

The 55-page document further alleges that the challenged regulations “are invalid and unenforceable (because) they far exceed the scope, content, and purpose of the legal authority on which they are purportedly based.” California lawmakers have incrementally tightened regulations on the ownership of so-called “assault weapons” over the past several years while expanding the definition of what constitutes such a firearm. The new regulations have done likewise with no oversight, the lawsuit explains.

SAF and its co-plaintiffs contend that the Department of Justice has pushed through a broad set of “assault weapons” regulations through the state Office of Administrative Law without any oversight or public input. As a result, the state DOJ has essentially revamped California’s regulatory scheme.

“The state’s relentless effort to crush the rights of law-abiding gun owners has gotten completely out of hand,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “In this particular case, the new regulations not only exceed the scope of the law, they are in conflict with the law, and are contradictory in some cases.

“It amounts to an illegal regulatory scheme that should not be allowed to go forward,” he added. “The government agencies responsible for enforcing the law must also follow the law. This case is an important step in protecting millions of law-abiding gun owners from an out-of-control regulatory state.”

CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman noted, “The DOJ has used every trick in the book to avoid good faith rule-making action, and we cannot allow that to go unchallenged. California laws are bad enough without piling on unlawful and harmful regulations, so we seek here to restore the rule of law—and some sanity.”

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 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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