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California: NRA/CRPA Foundation Withdraw Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Negotiate Expedited Briefing Schedule for MSJ and Trial

Friday, November 19, 2010

On June 17, 2010, the CRPA Foundation (funded by the NRA and CRPA) filed a lawsuit in Fresno Superior Court challenging the ammunition regulation statutes enacted by Assemblyman Kevin de Leon’s Assembly Bill (AB) 962 from the 2009 legislative session. The suit, Sheriff Clay Parker vs. State of California, challenges AB 962’s requirement that “handgun ammunition” be stored out of the reach of customers, its ammunition sales registration and fingerprinting requirements, and its face-to-face requirement for all deliveries and transfers of ownership of “handgun ammunition.” The lawsuit primarily alleges that the mandates of AB 962 are incomprehensible, and that the law’s definition of “handgun ammunition” is unconstitutionally vague. Copies of the filings in in Parker v. California can now be viewed at http://www.calgunlaws.com/index.php/...op-ab-962.html.

On November 17, 2010, the Foundation's lawyers at Michel & Associates, P.C. in Long Beach appeared in Fresno court for the Plaintiffs on their hearing for a Motion for Preliminary Injunction and related case management and scheduling conferences. During the hearing, the Court expressed concerns over the amount of “irreparable harm” to plaintiffs if an injunction was not issued at this stage, and whether that harm couldn’t simply be “repaired” with money damages. The Court encouraged the parties to focus on the underlying substantive issue, and to reach agreement on how to expedite a decision on the merits prior to the effective date of February 1st for the major components of AB 962. In doing so, the court noted that although trials are now being set for 2012, the Court would grant the plaintiffs a rare trial setting preference. The Court then assisted the parties in negotiating a briefing schedule for an unusual and extremely expedited joint Motion for Summary Judgment/Trial by brief.

The hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment and Trial are set for January 18, 2011. The Court, noting that “time was of the essence” for Plaintiffs, ensured a ruling would either be made the date of the hearing or within a few days to ensure this case is resolved in its entirety prior to February 1st. In light of the Court’s willingness to rapidly expedite this litigation and reach a final decision on the merits of Plaintiffs’ claims, Plaintiffs opted to withdraw their Motion for a Preliminary Injunction rather than protracting the litigation by arguing and requesting supplemental briefing on Plaintiffs’ irreparable harm claims. Plaintiffs' need for a preliminary injunction to issue were alleviated in many regards by assurances from both opposing counsel and the Court that this case will in fact be resolved prior to February 1st. The Foundation’s lawyers are now working tirelessly to prepare for Summary Judgment, and if needed, trial.

The lawsuit was prompted in part by the many objections and questions raised by confused police, ammunition purchasers, and sellers about what ammunition types are covered by the new laws created by AB 962. In a highly unusual move that reflects growing law enforcement opposition to ineffective gun control laws, Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Other plaintiffs include the CRPA Foundation, Herb Bauer Sporting Goods, ammunition shipper Able’s Ammo, collectible ammunition shipper RTG Sporting Collectibles, and individual Steven Stonecipher.

The CRPA Foundation works jointly with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to bring strategic litigation to advance the rights of firearms owners in California. NRA and CRPA Foundation’s involvement in both of these lawsuits is part of a California litigation strategy being implemented by the NRA and CRPA Foundation through their proactive Legal Action Project (LAP). LAP is a joint venture between the NRA and CRPA Foundation to advance the rights of firearms owners in California. Through LAP, NRA/CRPA attorneys fight against ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances, and educate state and local officials about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

A separate lawsuit has also been filed by the Calguns Foundation, the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (the largest trucker's trade association), the Folsom Shooting Club, and two individual truckers in a lawsuit challenging California's soon-to-be-implemented law banning most shipments of handgun ammunition into California. The case is OOIDA v. Lindley. A copy of the Complaint and related pleadings in that suit are also available at
www.calgunlaws.com.

OOIDA v. Lindley, filed in Sacramento's United States District Court, Eastern District of California, alleges that the ammo shipment ban portion of AB 962 is similarly burdensome and preempted by federal law regulating interstate carriers. Plaintiffs will soon be filing their own Motion for Summary Judgment to block the shipping portions of the law from taking effect.

To see a partial list of the Legal Action Project's recent lawsuits and accomplishments, visit
www.crpafoundation.org. To contribute to the NRA/CRPAF Legal Action Project, visit www.nraila.org or www.crpafoundation.org. And please register at www.calgunlaws.com and www.crpa.org to receive up to the minute updates on this and other California litigation as it becomes available.
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