Citizens living in California who thought they couldn’t see their rights restricted any further learned differently this week, due to the outcome of two cases against the state. California courts twisted the intent of the Second Amendment and Supreme Court rulings, silently restricting the right to self-defense. However, there was nearly zero coverage of it in the media. Almost like the media was hoping to hide the intent of ‘sensible’ gun control laws.
These cases, which concerned semi-automatic rifles and the right to carry pistols for self-defense showed just how far California will go to restrict firearm rights in the state.
On Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on the case brought forward by California’s National Rifle Association affiliate, which hoped to preserve the right to carry firearms in the state. The case, Flanagan vs. Becerra, was heard by Judge John Kronstadt, an Obama appointee.
California is a ‘may issue’ state where concealed carry licenses are concerned. In most states, this means that someone seeking a permit to carry a concealed pistol has to apply for the permit, properly follow the guidelines, and then the sheriff has the last say, and can choose whether to issue the permit or not.
In the state of California, this essentially means that no one gets a concealed carry permit except the rich, the politically connected, and a handful of professionals (mostly bodyguards for the wealthy).
In metropolitan areas, average citizens almost never receive a permit, even if they have no criminal history.
Adding insult to injury, the state also banned open carry, meaning that millions of law-abiding citizens in the state cannot carry a firearm at all, even if they live in the most dangerous parts of the state.
Kronstadt, in an absurd ruling, dismissed the CRPA’s case at the behest of the state and the Los Angeles County Sheriff. In doing so, he stated that the burden imposed by terrible state laws “if any” is not, in the view of the court, “severe.”
The Obama-appointed judge also said that California’s extremely restrictive laws don’t infringe upon what he viewed as the ‘core’ of the Second Amendment – the right of self-defense in the home. That statement shows both idiocy and ignorance.
It seems that Kronstadt is as useful a ‘constitutional’ lawyer as Obama was. If the largest cities in the state, and the most populous counties in the state, outright refuse to issue permits, they’ve placed a severe burden on the right to keep and BEAR arms. Arguing otherwise is simply ridiculous.
The other case, decided on Wednesday, May 9, challenged California’s 2016 Assault Weapons Control Act, a newer, stricter series of regulations on semi-automatic rifles in a state where restrictions already demand rifles are specifically built to be ‘CA compliant.’
The case Rupp v. Becarra, brought again by the CRPA, attacked the law which outlawed the ‘bullet button,’ a poorly understood invention that brought semi-automatic rifles into compliance with California laws.
California law basically did not allow a semi-automatic rifle to have a detachable magazine. According to California law, the magazine was only defined as not being detachable if it requires a tool to remove.
Enter the bullet button, a brilliant invention that allowed for California compliant AR’s to have at least somewhat detachable magazines.
The bullet button is a recessed magazine release button, which could not possibly be activated by a finger. However, shooters could use the top of a bullet, inserted into the button, to activate the release, dropping the magazine and allow for insertion of a new mag. That justified the legal requirement of needing a ‘tool’ to remove.
California couldn’t have that, apparently.
Staton, in one of the most blatantly anti-Second Amendment rulings in history, twisted the Heller decision, and said that “even an outright BAN on certain types of semi-automatic rifles” was permissible. She also absurdly claimed that even if semi-automatic rifles were barred, citizens could defend themselves with handguns, which California also heavily restricts and does not let citizens carry outside the home.
The United States Supreme Court decision in Heller should have protected the right to keep and bear arms across the country. The decision stated clearly that the right to keep and bear arms was a core fundamental right, just like the right to free speech or practice of religion.
Leftist judges like Staton, looking to legislate from the bench, have abused the ruling to the point where it’s essentially worthless in California courts.
The CRPA has the option to appeal, of course, meaning that both cases would go to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the rulings of that court understands that the outcome of such an appeal is predetermined.
The Ninth is a solidly anti-gun rights court, as well as being the most-reversed federal court in the nation. Of course, if the CRPA lost those appeals (or more honestly, when they lost those appeals), they could always appeal again, to the Supreme Court.
But the United States Supreme Court seems disinterested in hearing local Second Amendment cases. Their refusal to do so recently, in fact, is the reason that California and Illinois can do essentially whatever they want to restrict firearm rights.
By refusing to hear local cases, the Supreme Court allowed the decisions of lower courts to stand, abdicating their role as the arbiter of the law to leftists on the Ninth Circuit Court.
When the Supreme Court refused to hear the Silvester v. Harris case, another anti-gun California case, Clarence Thomas said that he suspected if the case involved any right other than the right to keep and bear arms, “I have little doubt that the court would intervene.”
However, according to Thomas, “the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court,” and the “right to keep and bear arms is this Court’s constitutional orphan.”
Hopefully, the Supreme Court heeds the warnings from members like Gorsuch, and actually hears the appealed cases. But more likely than not, leftist judges in California will continue to do what they like and run roughshod over gun rights, while leftists on the Supreme Court refuse to hear cases.