Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

California Court of Appeals Confirms Ruling Striking Down Ammunition Sales Restrictions

Thursday, November 7, 2013

On November 6, 2013, the California Court of Appeals for the 5th District affirmed the lower court’s issuance of a permanent injunction in the NRA/CRPA backed legal challenge to Assembly Bill (AB) 962, Parker v. California.  AB 962 would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so-called "handgun ammunition" to be registered.   The court’s 41 page published opinion confirms that AB 962 is unconstitutionally vague and cannot be enforced. 

The appellate decision comes approximately two years after the trial court issued a dramatic ruling giving gun owners a win just days before the law was set to take effect in 2010.   The appellate court’s decision confirms that mail order ammunition sales to California can continue and ammunition sales need not be registered under current law.

The lawsuit, litigated by the NRA’s California counsel at Michel and Associates, P.C., was prompted in part by the many objections and questions raised by confused police, ammunition purchasers, and sellers about what ammunition would have been covered by AB 962.  In a move that reflects growing law enforcement opposition to ineffective gun control laws, former Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.  Other plaintiffs included the CRPA Foundation, Herb Bauer Sporting Goods, ammunition shipper Able’s Ammo, collectible ammunition shipper RTG Sporting collectibles and individual Steven Stonecipher.

In addition to these plaintiffs, Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman, along with ammunition shippers Midway USA, Natchez Shooters Supplies and Cheaper Than Dirt also submitted declarations in support of the lawsuit.  Amicus briefs were submitted to the Court of Appeals by the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, Gun Owners of California, and FFLGuard.

The Court of Appeals agreed with plaintiffs’ claims that AB 962 is unconstitutionally vague because it fails to provide sufficient notice of what ammunition is "principally for use in a handgun," and thus considered "handgun ammunition" under the law.  The court explained that it would be practically impossible for consumers, retailers, and law enforcement to determine whether any of the thousands of different types of ammunition cartridges that can be used in handguns are actually used more often in a handgun.  The proportional usage of any given cartridge is impossible to determine, and it changes with market demands.

The legislature itself was well aware of the vagueness problem with AB 962 and tried, but failed, to redefine the law.  Rather than provide a clear list of the ammunition that would be prohibited, however, the legislature used the amendments as an attempt to expand the law to apply to even more types of ammunition, and also tried to expand the law in other ways.

The opinion also confirmed the applicable standard of review that should be applied in constitutional vagueness challenges, a larger legal issue that has been unsettled by the courts for years.  The Court expressly confirmed that a law need not be vague in every conceivable application to be found unconstitutionally vague on its face, particularly when the law regulates constitutionally-protected activity, in this case the transfer of ammunition. In that respect the opinion brings some much needed clarity to this general area of the law.

Despite this common sense win over ill-conceived and counter-productive laws, additional legislation on this and related subjects will no doubt be proposed in the future.   Those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms must stay informed and make their voices heard in Sacramento.  To help, sign up for legislative alerts at www.nraila.com and www.calnra.com and respond when called upon.  To assist in the fight against these persistent attacks on gun owners’ rights in California, please also donate to the NRA Legal Action Project today. 

Second Amendment supporters should also be careful about supporting well intentioned, but unfortunately counterproductive litigation brought by individuals and groups without access to the necessary funding, relationships, firearm experts, and experienced lawyers on the NRA's national legal team.  The NRA's team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys and scholars has the resources, skill, and expertise to maximize the potential for victory. For a summary of the many actions the NRA legal team has taken or is currently taking on behalf of California gun owners, click here.

 

TRENDING NOW
NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

News  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action executive director, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Tuesday regarding President Donald Trump's signature on the National Defense Authorization Act

House Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity

News  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

House Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity

The National Rifle Association applauded the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday for passing the most far-reaching expansion of self-defense rights in modern American history. The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 passed ...

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes U.S. House of Representatives!

News  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes U.S. House of Representatives!

In a resounding show of support for the Second Amendment, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a legislative package that included H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, and H.R. 4477, ...

Victory in D.C.! Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming to the Nation’s Capital

News  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Victory in D.C.! Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming to the Nation’s Capital

In a stunning development, District of Columbia officials decided in October that they would not appeal a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concerning the District’s discretionary concealed carry licensing ...

Burlington Police Chief Puts New York Politicians Before Vermonters

News  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Burlington Police Chief Puts New York Politicians Before Vermonters

As H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, comes closer to becoming law, the arguments against the legislation are increasingly strained. There are disingenuous appeals to federalism by those who would happily burden firearms owners under ...

Kicking a Gift Horse in the Teeth

News  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Kicking a Gift Horse in the Teeth

As we approach the Christmas season and the start of a new year, many of us look for ways to assist the needy and brighten the holidays for those less fortunate. It’s no coincidence that ...

U.S. House of Representatives to Vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, Next Week

News  

Friday, December 1, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives to Vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, Next Week

In a huge win for Second Amendment supporters, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a mark-up of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and favorably reported an amended version of the bill to the full House. 

Concealed Carry Reciprocity is on the Move: Your Lawmakers Need to Hear from You NOW!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Concealed Carry Reciprocity is on the Move: Your Lawmakers Need to Hear from You NOW!

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a full committee mark-up of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, this Wednesday! It’s therefore more important than ever to urge your member of Congress to support ...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Florida Action Report: Florida Carry cuts off its nose to spite its face – AGAIN

Once again Florida Carry, Inc. has demonstrated a lack of concern for Concealed Weapons and Firearms License holders.  License holders continue to be abused by law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts.  When firearms, that are ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.