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
Supreme Court Asked to Review Maryland's Gun Ban

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review Maryland's Gun Ban

A group of Maryland citizens, with the support of the National Rifle Association, filed a petition to the United States Supreme Court on Friday seeking to reverse a Court of Appeals ruling that stripped some of America’s most ...

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

News  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to about 40,000 people, and like too many places around the country, gun owners there have no public range where they can practice or compete safely. That may be changing, ...

Former Bloomberg Lackey Comes Clean on True Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Former Bloomberg Lackey Comes Clean on True Anti-gun Agenda

Back when Mark Glaze was executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and later Everytown for Gun Safety, he went to great lengths to portray his master’s anti-gun positions as moderate. Glaze used ...

Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

News  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

Last Thursday, a federal judge in Austin, Texas, dismissed a lawsuit by several professors who sought to block the University of Texas from implementing a state law that provides for the lawful carrying of concealed ...

The Need for National Reciprocity

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Need for National Reciprocity

A report from the Crime Prevention Research Center estimates that the number of concealed carry permits issued last year was the largest increase ever – continuing a four year trend of record setting increases in ...

“She Persisted” – Gun Owner Fights Unlawful “No Return” Gun Policy

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

“She Persisted” – Gun Owner Fights Unlawful “No Return” Gun Policy

On July 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit confirmed that law enforcement officials in New York acted unlawfully with respect to guns confiscated from a Nassau County woman in 2012.  

One More Reason Gun Owners Should Be Celebrated

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

One More Reason Gun Owners Should Be Celebrated

The safety record of America’s gun owners is nothing short of stunning. 

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

Friday, July 14, 2017

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus 1911 .45 ACP ...

When Gun Control Fails

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Gun Control Fails

Gun control is pushed as a strategy to keep Americans safe in their homes, schools and workplaces. It is presented as the key component in safer streets, neighborhoods and families. But what happens when gun ...

California:  "Assault Weapon" Regulations Take 3: CA DOJ Resubmits Regulations

Friday, July 21, 2017

California: "Assault Weapon" Regulations Take 3: CA DOJ Resubmits Regulations

Today, July 21, the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”), without warning or any notification,  submitted another set of proposed regulations for the registration of newly classified “assault weapons” to the Office of Administrative Law.  As ...

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.