Skip to comments.Federal judge to examine California's definition of assault weapon
Posted on 05/29/2011 4:50:12 AM PDT by marktwain
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Calguns Foundation have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California to have the state's definition of assault weapons declared unconstitutionally vague. Joining these organizations as a Plaintiff is Iraq combat veteran Brendan John Richards who served as a U.S. Marine.
The impetus for this legal action stems from Richards' six-day incarceration in the Sonoma County jail last May. It was then that City of Rohnert police officer Dean Becker responded to a disturbance at a motel where Richards was staying. Through the course of his investigation, Becker discovered that Richards had two pistols and a rifle (all unloaded) in the trunk of his car. Becker arrested Richards for unlawful possession of an assault weapon. The charges were subsequently dropped by the Sonoma County District Attorney's office when a report from the state Department of Justice determined that none of the firearms met the state's definition of an assault weapon.
Californias law allows possession of a variety of firearms that do not meet the states assault weapons definition, which we believe is unconstitutionally vague, said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. He added, Mr. Richards was jailed for almost a week, when he had broken no law because a police officer had a conflicting view and the District Attorneys office believed him.
Officer Becker and the city that employs him have been named as defendants in the case, along with California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the California Department of Justice.
Calguns Executive Director Gene Hoffman noted in an SAF news release:
California attempts to make a distinction among firearms where no natural one exists. The generic definition of so-called assault weapons was simply an attempt to prohibit possession of guns that look scary.
Attorneys Don Kilmer of San Jose and Jason A. Davis of Mission Viejo will represent the Plaintiffs. Kilmer said that the case will shed light on the arrest them first and let the courts sort it out mentality prevalent among law enforcement agencies. This is especially important, says Kilmer, now that the right to keep arms has correctly been recognized as fundamental and applicable to California.
He is here referring to the case United States v. Emerson where the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the Second Amendment does guarantee individuals the right to keep and bear arms, a decision that was upheld by the Circuit Court of D.C. in Parker v. District of Columbia. Upon review of the Parker case in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment "protects an individual right to keep and bear arms". Further case law has defined gun ownership as an individual right that has been incorporated against all states through the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Second Amendment Foundation provided an amicus brief and a fund for the Emerson case.
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers."
Next we will be required to obtain a permit to carry rocks.
The REASON for the 2nd is to allow us folks the MEANS to rebel against tyranny (should we so desire).
The gummint is afraid—for THIS REASON.
As far as they’re concerned—the fewer guns, the better.
I bet the police officer, during the “investigation”, asked Richards if he had any firearms. The question had nothing to do with the incident, but, when Richards was truthful (they were in his car trunk) the officer knew he had found SOMETHING to use against Richards before the officer actually looked at the weapons.
Lesson: Honest people need to control their need to be completely forthright with law enforcement questions.
Example: I was in upstate New York and turned onto an entrance ramp for an interstate. A NY Trooper was sitting on the ramp and waved me to stop. I stopped and he noticed I was from Pennsylvania (no front license plate). He went to the back of my car and saw my NRA license plate holder, then asked me if I had any firearms with me. I answered “no”. He started to ask me another question, but I interrupted and asked him for the reason I was being detained. He then told me I could leave.
Our law enforcement is being turned into an arm of the liberal mindset. We must push back or risk losing everything.
Good for you. How long before my single shot 34” barrel trap gun is declared an assault weapon?
Was a cop for 10 years. Friends always ask me what they should say if asked about weapons in their cars. I always say to ask the cop, why was I stopped? Supreme Ct. ruled some time ago, that police can only ask questions pertaining to the reason for the stop, unless there is something else that causes them to believe something else is going on. An NRA sticker isn’t one of those things. Sad to see what law enforcement in this country has mutated into.
In NC you have to tell the LEO you have a CW permit and show him the permit, the # of which is the same as your DL # so the LEO will know anyway.
So you are breaking the law if you don’t state you are a CW holder before he asks.
I believe you have to say whether you are armed or not.
Then he can answer why you were stopped, which is what I ask as I hand over my DL and CWp. They have to ask for the car stuff separately.
Usually, when they see the permit they say thank you, hand it back and say I can leave. But one state trooper had to go back and radio in and ask what it meant. He was he only one who gave me a ticket and over all was a prick.
California classifies certain guns as “assault weapons” based on what Dianne Feinstein thinks looks scary. And that’s not a joke.
The first rule of security is to keep the enemy guessing.
You don’t let them know which defenses you are using.
Gun stickers and NRA stickers make you and your vehicle a target.
You are not always in a position to win a quick-draw contest.
To avoid hassles from law enforcement and being targeted by criminals, don’t advertise.
When rocks are outlawed....
You mean he didn't even know there WAS such a thing as a CCW permit, so he had to ask what that was?
I think it was a fishing stop..
Too many cops have an "us versus them" mentality.
They'll start with common sense safety restrictions on some of the igneous rocks. A child could get cut by broken obsidian, after all.
“You mean he didn’t even know there WAS such a thing as a CCW permit, so he had to ask what that was?”
I don’t know, he stared at it awhile and asked me, an old white guy professor, and an older radiologist in a nice SUV, if we had any guns. We had just left the farm where we had been shooting several guns which were in cases and in sight. So I said yes just look in the back seat. He seemed startled by the number of cases. At that point he went and made a long call. So I don’t know what the deal was but he gave me a big speeding ticket which I got dismissed because I had a perfect driving record. But it made me nervous and continues to worry me.
Maybe he thought there was a legal limit to the number of guns you can carry at any given time? Who knows, at least he didn’t shoot my dog.
BTW - this was just outside of Mt.Airy better known as “MAYBERRY” for those familiar with Barney Fife.
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