This report provides an overview of just some of the efforts the National Rifle Association of America and the California Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., are taking to protect the rights of California gun owners. Although litigation plays an extremely important role in the fight for the right to keep and bear arms, NRA and CRPA are heavily involved in many other tremendous and equally important endeavors throughout California and across the nation.
As has been and always will be the case, NRA and CRPA invest enormous amounts of resources to protect the Second Amendment at all levels of California’s government, including all 58 counties, all 482 municipalities, and all state and local agencies tasked with enforcing the myriad of complex and ever expanding gun laws.
Firearms Litigation Report
The litigation report provides a brief overview and update on NRA and CRPA’s recent litigation efforts in California, including amicus and consulting support in other firearm related cases.
Local Ordinance Project Report
The Local Ordinance Project (“LOP”) is a joint venture between the NRA and CRPA to research and actively monitor all of California’s local jurisdictions to oppose any proposed ordinance, law, or policy that threatens Second Amendment Rights. LOP efforts include developing and working with a network of professionals, citizens, local government officials, and law enforcement professionals to effectively oppose local threats to California gun owners.
Opposition campaigns typically include the preparation of opposition or pre-litigation demand letters, grassroots coordination, public information campaigns, and, in some cases, appearances at city council hearings. In many instances, these efforts have prompted local governments to vote down proposals or pull them from consideration. LOP efforts also serve as the foundation for NRA and CRPA litigation efforts against municipalities that enact anti-gun legislation.
Regulatory Matters Report
NRA and CRPA are also heavily invested in firearm law enforcement issues through their Regulatory Counsel efforts, which monitors the California DOJ and local law enforcement's interpretations of California firearm laws on a daily basis.
Ongoing efforts include drafting regulatory comment letters, providing legal support to NRA and CRPA lobbyists, drafting NRA and CRPA member alerts, and providing advice to NRA and CRPA members. Regulatory Counsel also collaborates with overlapping litigation, legislative, and regulatory matters to effectively oppose improper actions and incorrect interpretations of California law by state and local agencies.
Regulatory Counsel is responsible for many of the recently published webinars available on the CRPA’s website which provide gun owners with a comprehensive analysis of recently enacted legislation and the recently proposed “assault weapon” regulations from the California DOJ.
Hunting Matters Report
Closely related to Regulatory Counsel are NRA and CRPA’s efforts to monitor and respond to issues impacting hunters throughout California. These efforts include developing strategies and taking action when necessary before the Legislature, the Fish & Game Commission, local municipalities, and other various regulatory agencies.
Hunting Regulatory efforts are also dedicated to pushing back against rabidly anti-hunting forces such as the United States Humane Society, and to improve policies impacting hunters in California to effectively promote and defend the right to hunt in California.
Range Matters Report
Last but not least, NRA and CRPA continually monitor environmental, land use, and design and safety issues that heavily affect shooting ranges and areas in California and throughout the nation.
NRA and CRPA’s range assistance efforts include regular range evaluations and meeting with Club Boards to strategize and assist with coordination of defense campaigns against “not in my backyard” efforts from environmental non-governmental organizations, state and federal agencies, and municipal governments.
Click on the case name below to reveal more information about the case status and what's next.
California and 9th Circuit Litigation Matters
Flanagan v. Harris: Challenge to California and Los Angeles' Firearm Carry Restrictions Prohibitting Both Open and Concealed Carry
(Formerly Flanagan v. Harris)
Case Status: The case was filed on August 17, 2016 as a direct response to Peruta. The suit seeks to force the court to decide whether or not it is willing to uphold a complete prohibition on the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm for self-defense. On February 23, 2017, the district court dismissed plaintiff’s claims challenging California’s concealed carry restrictions in light of Peruta.
What's Next: The challenge to California’s ban on the open carry of firearms will now proceed to be litigated in the district court. Regardless of the outcome, the challenge to California’s concealed carry restrictions in light of California’s total ban on open carry have been preserved for appeal.
Challenges to “Gunmageddon,” Prop 63, and LA’s Ultra-Compact Firearms Ban
Case Status: CRPA and NRA attorneys are preparing multiple challenges to the new laws that were passed in 2016 that improperly punish law-abiding gun owners.
NRA and CRPA attorneys also submitted a pre-litigation demand letter to the City of Los Angeles demanding that it repeal its ultra-compact firearms in September 21, 2016.
What's Next: Multiple lawsuits will be filed to challenge the “Gunmageddon” bills and Prop 63 in 2017.
The City of Los Angeles is considering whether it will repeal its ultra-compact firearms ordinance, otherwise it will face further litigation in 2017.
Peruta v. California: Challenge to "good cause" requirement for CCWs
(formerly Peruta v. San Diego)
Case Status: In June 2016, a divided 11-judge “en banc” panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 in favor of the County, holding that the government’s denial of the only means of carrying a firearm under state law does not implicate the Second Amendment. The decision reverses an earlier three-judge panel decision of the 9th circuit and now stands in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller.
Bauer v. Becerra: Challenge to DOJ's excessive DROS fees that generated a massive surplus
(formerly Bauer v. Harris)
Case Status: In March 2015, the district court issued an opinion upholding California’s use of DROS fees to fund APPS and other law enforcement activities. On June 1, 2017, the 9th Circuit affirmed the district court opinion.
What's Next: Plaintiffs now have the option of submitting a petition for review to the United States Supreme Court or requesting an “en banc” review by a larger panel of the 9th Circuit.
Gentry v. Harris: Challenge to DOJ's Use of DROS surplus to fund APPS
(formerly Gentry v. Harris)
Case Status: Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint alleging that the DROS fee is an invalid property tax. The case is currently in the discovery process.
What's Next: The case is expected to go to trial in 2017.
Belemjian v. Becerra: Challenge to CA DOJ's underground regulations regarding the FSC Program
(formerly Belemjian v. Harris)
Case Status: This case forced DOJ to comply with the process for enacting regulations, which it sought to avoid when implementing the FSC program in February 2015. Plaintiffs appealed the lower court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’ fees.
What's Next: Briefing concerning attorney’s fees has been completed. Oral arguments are expected to take place in late 2017.
Parker v. California: Vagueness challenge to AB 962's "handgun ammunition" sales registration requirement and mail order ban
Case Status: In December 2016, as a result of Prop 63, the California Supreme Court dismissed its review of a Court of Appeals’ opinion upholding the trial court’s order striking down AB 962. The Court of Appeals’ decision is now the final opinion in the case and Plaintiffs are seeking their attorneys’ fees against the State.
What's Next: Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees will be heard in 2017. Separate litigation is being prepared to challenge the ammunition restrictions in Proposition 63.
Fyock v. Sunnyvale: 10+ Round Magazine Possession Ban
Case Status: The passage of SB 1446 and Proposition 63 prohibiting the possession of 10+ round magazines statewide now preempts the local ordinance and mooted the case. The case was dismissed without prejudice in December 2016.
What's Next: Duncan has been filed to challenge the State’s 10+ round magazine ban. If that litigation is successful, this case will be refiled against Sunnyvale.
Bosenko v. City of Los Angeles: Preemption challenge to LA ordinance banning possession of 10+ round magazines
Case Status:The City is currently in the process of repealing the ordinance because it is now preempted by state law.
What's Next: Once the City repeals its ordinance, the case will be dismissed.
Separate litigation is being prepared to challenge the State’s 10+ round magazine ban.
California and 9th Circuit Amicus and Consulting Support
Teixeira v. Alameda County: FFL Zoning Restrictions
Case Status: In December 2016, the 9th Circuit ordered the case to be reheard by an 11-judge “en banc” panel. NRA and CRPA attorneys filed an amicus brief on January 31, 2017. Oral arguments were held on March 22, 2017.
What's Next: Awaiting a decision from the 11-judge “en banc” panel of the 9th Circuit.
Baker v. Kealoha: Hawaii CCW Scheme
Case Status: On March 10, 2017, the 9th Circuit issued an order remanding the case to the District Court in light of the “en banc” panel decision in Peruta.
What's Next: The case will now proceed in the District Court.
Pena v. Lindley: California Handgun Roster
Case Status: The federal district court upheld the Roster in 2015. Plaintiffs appealed, and oral arguments were held on March 16, 2017.
What's Next: Awaiting a decision from the 9th Circuit.
Silvester v. Harris: 10-day Wait as applied to current firearm owners
Case Status: In December 2016, the 9th Circuit issued its decision upholding the 10-day wait as applied to current gun owners. Chief Judge Sydney Thomas went even further and stated that the restriction is “presumptively lawful” and therefore falls “outside the scope of the Second Amendment.” Plaintiffs petitioned the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case, but that petition was denied on April 4, 2017.
What's Next: Plaintiffs now have the option submitting a petition for review to the United States Supreme Court.
Tracy Rifle & Pistol v. Becerra: 1st Amendment challenge to handgun ad prohibition
(formerly Tracy Rifle & Pistol v. Harris)
Case Status: In July 2015, the district court denied a request to prohibit enforcement while the case proceeds. That decision was appealed, and in February 2016 the 9th Circuit upheld the lower court’s order within two weeks of oral arguments. Cross-motions for summary judgment have been submitted in the district court.
What's Next: Awaiting a decision from the District Court.
What's Next: The City has agreed to pay NSSF over $400,000 in legal fees.
Doe v. Harris: Challenges DOJ regulation barring sale of more than one handgun in 30 days to COE holders
Case Status: The California trial court upheld DOJ’s regulation and the plaintiffs have appealed the decision to the California Court of Appeals.
What's Next: The case is currently being briefed before the California Court of Appeals. Oral arguments are expected to take place late 2017.
Nesbitt v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineer: Challenge to ban on possession and carriage of firearms on recreational Army Corps' lands
Case Status: At the request of both parties, oral arguments have been cancelled, and the case has been referred to the 9th Circuit’s mediation program.
What's Next: The Army Corps of Engineers is reconsidering its firearms policy, and will work with plaintiffs to settle the matter outside of court.
NSSF v. California: State Court challenge to California's microstamping requirements
Case Status: On December 1, the California Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of NSSF, allowing the lawsuit to proceed in the lower court. But on March 22, 2017, the California Supreme Court agreed to rehear the case following a petition from the State of California.
What's Next: Briefing in the California Supreme Court is underway.
National Cases with California Interest
Kolbe v. Hogan: Challenges Maryland's ban on “assault weapons” and 10+ round magazines
Case Status: On February 21, 2017, an “en banc” panel of the 4th Circuit issued an opinion upholding Maryland’s ban that referred to America’s most popular types of rifles as “exceptionally lethal weapons of war.”
What's Next: Plaintiffs will soon file a petition for review to the United States Supreme Court.
Grace v. District of Columbia: Challenges Washington D.C.’s “good reason” requirement for the issuance of a CCW permit
Case Status: On May 17, 2016, the Court granted the Plaintiffs’ request for an order blocking enforcement of the “good reason” requirement.The government appealed the decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Court issued a stay of the lower court’s order that prohibited D.C. from enforcing its “good reason” requirement.
What's Next: Oral arguments in the case were held on September 20, 2016, along with Wrenn v. District of Columbia. A decision from the D.C. Circuit can be expected anywhere in the next 3-9 months.
Local Ordinance Project Report
Statewide Local Elections
Description: LOP works hard to inform California gun owners of political candidate's voting records on Second Amendment Issues.
LOP Response: Continually develop and maintain detailed voting histories of local politicians, including whether they proposed or supported any firearm-related legislation.
Current Status: Ongoing.
Palm Springs Anti-Gun Ordinance Package
Description: In July 2016, the City Council opened discussion on a number of anti-gun proposals, including a duty to report the theft or loss of a firearm, a prohibition on the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, and a requirement that all ammunition sales be recorded.
LOP Response: Alerted members to attend City Council meetings and voice opposition. Submitted two opposition letters, one in July and one in September, warning of the ordinance’s serious legal problems, including state preemption issues. Published C.D. Michel editorial discussing problems with proposal. Sought public records of communications between Council members and anti-gun groups.
Current Status: The City agreed to remove the magazine and ammunition restrictions from the proposal. But despite the overwhelming number of residents who spoke against the proposal, the Council voted 3-2 in favor of enacting the remaining provisions.
LA City Anti-Gun Efforts Targeting Law-Abiding Gun Dealers
Description: In June 2016, the City Council instructed the LAPD to work with the anti-gun organization “Crime Gun Solutions” to study and identify so-called “bad apple” gun dealers located in the City of Los Angeles.
LOP Response: In a joint-effort with FFLGuard, prepared and submitted a letter to all FFLs located within the City warning them of the Council’s action.
Current Status: The City has not prosecuted a single dealer as a result of its efforts targeting so-called "bad apple" gun dealers.
Moraga Locked Storage and FFL Zoning Ordinance
Description: The Town Council has listed implementation of a “safe firearm storage” and “home based firearm dealer” ordinance as a proposed goal for 2017.
LOP Response: Continuing to monitor Town Council agendas for any updates.
Current Status: Town staff have not yet submitted a draft ordinance for review.
Encinitas Locked Storage and FFL Zoning Ordinance
Description: In March 2016, several City Councilmembers asked staff to prepare an ordinance requiring the locked storage of firearms and restricting where FFLs may be located.
LOP Response: Continuing to monitor City Council agendas for any updates.
Current Status: City staff have not yet submitted a draft ordinance for review.
Sonoma County CCW Fees
Description: In October 2016, Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas sought approval from the County Board of Supervisors to impose a mandatory psychological test for all CCW applicants and raise the associated fee from $150 to $550.
LOP Response: Submitted opposition letter warning of the proposal’s serious legal problems, such as how state law capped the psychological testing fee at $150.
Current Status: In November 2016, the County Board of Supervisors pulled the proposal from consideration and stated it has no plans for re-introduction at this time.
Belvedere Handgun Storage Ordinance
Description: In September 2016, the City introduced an ordinance requiring all handguns kept at home to be stored in a locked container, providing an exception only for individuals who possessed a valid CCW.
Current Status: In October 2016, the City agreed to amend the ordinance to include an exception for all law-abiding citizens when carrying the firearm, regardless of whether or not they possess a valid CCW.
El Cerrito CCW Fees
Description: Under the City’s “Master Fee Schedule,” residents applying for a CCW must pay a local processing fee of $961, well in excess of the $100 statutory maximum for such fees.
Current Status: In November, attorneys for the City agreed that the current fee violates the statutory $100 cap. As a result, the City will soon introduce a resolution to amend the “Master Fee Schedule” accordingly.
San Jose Anti-Gun Ordinance Package
Description: In September 2016, Councilmembers Ash Kalra and Raul Peralez introduced an anti-gun package for discussion and referral to the City Council.
LOP Response: Alerted members to attend Rules and Open Government Committee meetings during early stages of proposal.
Current Status: As a result of LOP and other local pro-gun efforts, the City has dropped most of the proposed provisions, but will still pursue a mandatory locked-storage ordinance. A draft ordinance is expected to be introduced to the City Council in the coming weeks.
Gun Shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds
Description: At the request of several anti-gun residents, the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board of Directors held an open discussion in November 2016 regarding the use of the grounds by gun shows.
LOP Response: Alerted members to attend meeting and voice support for gun shows. Submitted letter of comment informing Board members of all of the rules and requirements gun show operators are required to adhere to in the State of California.
Current States: Following the public discussion, the Board did not take any action and continues to allow the use of the grounds by gun shows.
Orange County CCW Applications
Description: Many Orange County residents to this day are still confused as to the specific requirements for obtaining a CCW in Orange County.
LOP Response: Prepared a comprehensive guide discussing the entire application process for obtaining a CCW in Orange County, including what is required to satisfy the Sheriff’s “good cause” policy.
Current Status: NRA and CRPA are working hard to bring "shall-issue" to California. In the meantime, CRPA will continue to provide gun owners with helpful guides on how they can apply for a CCW in their respective county of residence.
Kern County CCW on School Grounds
Description: Following the enactment of Senate Bill 707, which restricted CCW holders from carrying firearms on school grounds, the Kern County High School Board sought to allow teachers and staff to carry firearms at school.
LOP Response: CRPA provided the Board with a comprehensive guide discussing the school’s authority to allow individuals to carry firearms on school grounds.
Current States: In November 2016, the Kern High School District Board voted in favor of allowing teachers and staff to carry firearms on school grounds.
Cupertino Anti-Gun Ordinance Package
Description: On January 12, the Cupertino Public Safety Commission held an open discussion on several proposed anti-gun measures.
Current Status: Nearly 40 pro-gun speakers attended the meeting and voiced their opposition. Not a single person spoke in support. Following public discussion, the Commission took no action and directed staff to research the issue further.
Buenaventura FFL Zoning Ordinance
Description: On March 20, the City Council held an open discussion on a proposed ordinance requiring FFLs to install vehicle impact security devices in the form of “bollards” at all entrances to the store.
Current Status: The City Council discussed NRA and CRPA’s opposition prior to making its decision, but ultimately voted 6-1 in favor of the ordinance.
Statewide Public Record Requests
Description: NRA and CRPA regularly seek and obtain public records in connection with any anti-gun efforts in California. Such efforts include proposed anti-gun ordinances, gun buyback programs, and other anti-gun regulatory enforcement issues.
LOP Response: Responses to these requests often yield valuable results, such as which members of a local government entity are working with anti-gun groups, sources of funding, and other important information.
Current Status: Ongoing.
Firearms Regulatory Matters Report
Public Record Requests
Description: NRA and CRPA regularly seek and obtain public records from CA DOJ and local law enforcement relating to internal agency policies and interpretations of CA firearm laws.
Regulatory Counsel Response: Recently, responses to these requests provided key financial analysis reports from CA DOJ and other state agencies regarding proposed firearm legislation. These reports were subsequently used in drafting legislative opposition letters and veto requests to the governor.
Current Status: Ongoing.
New California Gun Laws
Description: Given California's continually evolving and complex firearm laws, many gun owners, manufacturers, and dealers are often left wondering how best to avoid being prosecuted for otherwise unintentional violations that can result in serious consequences.
Regulatory Counsel Response: NRA and CRPA regularly work to provide Californians with up-to-date information on California laws, regulations, and policies regarding firearms to help gun owners avoid prosecution and retain their right to keep and bear arms.
Current Status: Ongoing. In connection with these efforts, NRA and CRPA produced several webinars on a variety of topics, including the loaning of firearms, the new “assault weapon” laws, the new ammunition sales laws, and the recently proposed “assault weapon” regulations.
LA City Gun Purchaser "Warning Letters"
Description: For several years, the LA City Attorney mailed threatening letters to new gun purchasers warning them of their obligations and potential stiff penalties for violating any of California’s numerous firearm laws.
Regulatory Counsel Response: NRA and CRPA submitted numerous public record requests to both the LA City Attorney and CA DOJ, seeking information on how the LA City Attorney obtained gun owner information to send such letters.
Current Status: After being pressed for information, the LA City Attorney voluntarily discontinued the program in 2015.
Assistance for California Members
Description: NRA and CPRA continually assist members with questions concerning California firearm laws.
Regulatory Counsel Response: NRA and CRPA have a variety of resources available to members, including the ability to refer individuals to attorneys specializing in firearm laws.
Current Status: Ongoing.
2016 California Firearms Laws
Description: California recently adopted several new firearm laws. These laws have caused confusion amongst the public, firearm dealers, and manufacturers.
Regulatory Response: NRA and CRPA have published several webinars that provide gun owners with detailed information on each of these new laws.
Current Status: Recordings of the webinars are freely available on CRPA's website.
Gun Violence Restraining Orders
Description: Since January 2016, a new law allows law enforcement or immediate family members to seek a “gun violence restraining order” against another.
Regulatory Counsel Response: NRA and CRPA published a comprehensive guide for judges, prosecutors, attorneys, police, and gun owners explaining all aspects of the new law.
Current Status: The published guide is available on the CRPA's website.
CCW in School Zone
Description: As a result of SB 707, which was signed into law in 2015 and became effect on January 1, 2016, CCW holders may no longer carry their firearm on school grounds.
Regulatory Counsel Response: To assist CCW holders understand the new restrictions, NRA and CRPA published a comprehensive guide that details the various ways in which a person may lawfully carry a firearm on school grounds.
Current Status: NRA and CRPA are continuing to monitor the status of the proposed regulations. Several lawsuits challenging these regulations and other recently enacted CA laws will soon be filed.
Assistance to Gun Clubs and Youth Groups
Description: In CA, the transfer of a firearm to a business or “entity” is prohibited, and the loaning of a firearm is restricted absent specific circumstance. As a result, many gun clubs and youth groups are unclear on how to conduct their activities.
Regulatory Counsel Response: NRA and CRPA are currently preparing a limited access webinar for clubs and youth groups explaining CA law as applied to their organizations and how to avoid unintentional violations of CA law.
Current Status: This limited access webinar will be held the week of January 23.
CA DOJ Policies Prohibiting Interstate Private Party Transfer of Handguns
Description: Contrary to California law, DOJ prohibits FFLs from conducting PPT’s when the seller is not a resident of California.
Regulatory Counsel Status: NRA and CRPA submitted a petition to the Office of Administrative Law challenging DOJ’s policy as an “underground regulation.”
Recent Action: Ongoing monitoring of lawsuits and activities of potential interest to hunting related matters in California. Regularly submit public records act requests for documents concerning efforts of anti-hunting groups. Analyze Fish & Game Commission meeting agendas and prepare lobbyists for addressing matters of interest at FGC & WRC meetings.
Status: Ongoing efforts to closely monitor various hunting related issues to allow for timely and effective intervention as necessary.
Increasing Support for Hunting Rights Throughout California
Recent Action: Developed and distributed computer presentations for distribution by coalition of hunting groups that outline the attacks hunters are facing. Presented to Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports regarding issues in California to garner support.
Status: Ongoing efforts to grow hunting rights coalitions and spread awareness.
Recent Action: Prepare alerts regarding new hunting rules and regulations and advise of NRA and CRPA efforts to promote and defend hunting rights in California.
Recent Action: Ongoing efforts to prepare representatives for attendance at Wildlife Resource Committee hearings on predators. Presented at coyote management symposium regarding negative impacts of HSUS on predator management policies. Drafted manuscript explaining HSUS lies for publication in predator management circles. Grassroots organization to mobilize and direct local residents of cities with HSUS coyote policies.
Status: Ongoing efforts to challenge HSUS regarding non-lethal coyote policies in cities where pets and family members are being attacked. Working to broaden coalition of individuals opposed to HSUS policies in light of dangers to typical family households while informing industry members of predator management about opportunities to oppose.
Range Matters Report
Recent Action: Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Region 5R has been inspecting all shooting ranges in the region requiring sampling for potential lead contamination in stormwater runoff, utilizing drinking water standards. This has the potential to set extremely bad precedent for regulating ranges for stormwater runoff (using drinking water standards) and may potentially shut down numerous ranges.
Status: Ongoing efforts to assist ranges and engage the RWQCB Region 5R representatives to contest the validity of RWQCB’s actions. Working to prevent RWQCB from using the drinking water standards (0.010 mg/L for lead) and invoke the proper stormwater standards (0.262 mg/L), if not stopping RWQCB’s actions entirely.
Non-conforming “Use Status” and “Use Intensification”
Recent Action: Counties are attempting to break shooting ranges’ grandfathering as a non-conforming use under County Ordinance. Once the grandfathered status of a range is broken through a use intensification argument or a subsequent County Ordinance requiring a Conditional Use Permit under the guise of health and safety concerns, compliance with current County Ordinance is effectively impossible and range closure is certain.
Status: Ongoing efforts to assist ranges in defending their grandfathered status is crucial in keeping these ranges open and operating.
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.