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
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.
A hearing on Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss portions of Plaintiffs’ claims will be heard in February 2017. The case is currently in the discovery phase and substantive motions are expected to be filed and heard in late 2017.
Challenges to “Gunmageddon,” Prop 63, and LA’s Ultra-Compact Firearms Ban
CRPA and NRA attorneys are preparing multiple challenges to the new laws that were passed in 2016 that improperly punish law-abiding gun owners.
CRPA and NRA 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.
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
In June 2016, a divided “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.
On January 12, NRA and CRPA attorneys submitted a petition for review to the United States Supreme Court. Several amicus briefs in support of the petition will be filed in February 2017.
Bauer v. Harris: Challenge to DOJ’s excessive DROS fees that generated a massive surplus
In March 2015, the district court issued an opinion upholding California’s use of DROS fees to fund APPS and other law enforcement activities. Plaintiffs have appealed. The case has been fully briefed and is awaiting oral arguments.
Oral arguments are scheduled for the week of April 17-April 21, 2017.
Gentry v. Harris: Challenges DOJ’s Use of DROS surplus to fund APPS
In December 2016, as a result of Prop 63, the California Supreme Court dismissed its review of the Court of Appeals’ opinion that upheld the trial court’s order striking down AB 962. The Court of Appeals decision now stands as the final opinion in the case and Plaintiffs will seek recovery of their attorneys’ fees.
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
The Richards plaintiffs joined the Peruta plaintiffs in petitioning for full court “en banc” rehearing by all sitting members of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On August 15, the 9th Circuit denied Plaintiffs’ petition for full court “en banc” rehearing by all sitting members of the 9th Circuit. The Richards plaintiffs did not seek Supreme Court review of the case.
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 now have the option of either requesting review by an 11-judge “en banc” panel of the 9th Circuit, or submitting a petition for review directly to the United States Supreme Court.
Tracy Rifle and Pistol v. Harris: 1st Amendment challenge to handgun ad prohibition
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.
On December 1, the California Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of NSSF, allowing the lawsuit to proceed in the lower court. Since then, the California Attorney General has petitioned the California Supreme Court for review.
Litigation may now resume in the lower court. Litigation could be further stayed in the lower court if the California Supreme Court grants the State’s petition for review.
California and Interests in National Cases
Kolbe v. Hogan: Challenges Maryland's ban on “assault weapons” and 10+ round magazines
On February 4, 2016, the 4th Circuit overturned the district court’s approval of the ban under intermediate scrutiny, and ordered the district court to apply “strict scrutiny.” The State appealed and the case was reheard by the full 4th Circuit sitting “en banc” on May 11, 2016.
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.
Oral arguments in the case were held on September 20, 2016, along with Wrenn v. District of Columbia. A decision from the Court of Appeals can be expected anywhere in the next 3-9 months.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
In December 2015, the City Council proposed several anti-gun ordinances, including a prohibition against the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and a requirement that all firearms stored at home or in a vehicle be kept in a locked container.
Alerted members to attend City Council meetings and voice opposition. Provided members with talking points to oppose the proposed restrictions.
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.
Submitted opposition letter warning of the proposal’s serious legal problems, such as how state law capped the psychological testing fee at $150.
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.
In September 2016, Councilmembers Ash Kalra and Raul Peralez introduced an anti-gun package for discussion and referral to the City Council.
Alerted members to attend Rules and Open Government Committee meetings during early stages of proposal.
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
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.
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.
Following the public discussion, the Board did not take any action and continues to allow the use of the grounds by gun shows.
Many Orange County residents to this day are still confused as to the specific requirements for obtaining a CCW in Orange County.
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.
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
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.
CRPA provided the Board with a comprehensive guide discussing the school’s authority to allow individuals to carry firearms on school grounds.
In November 2016, the Kern High School District Board voted in favor of allowing teachers and staff to carry firearms on school grounds.
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.
Statewide Public Record Requests
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.
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.
Firearms Regulatory Matters Reports
Public Record Requests
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.
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