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2nd Amendment Foundation Sues California Over Assault Weapons Ban
opposingviews.com ^ | 21 November, 2011 | SAF

Posted on 11/22/2011 6:01:48 AM PST by marktwain

BELLEVUE, WA -- The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons,” claiming that the statute is “vague and ambiguous” in its definition of assault weapons, leading to the arrest of a California man on two different occasions.

SAF is joined in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, by the CalGuns Foundation and Brendan John Richards, an honorably-discharged Marine and Iraq war veteran, who was arrested and jailed in May 2010 and August 2011. On both occasions, charges against Richards were dismissed when it was determined that he had not violated the law because firearms in his possession on both occasions were not “assault weapons” as defined by California law. They are represented by attorneys Donald Kilmer of San Jose and Jason A. Davis of Mission Viejo.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Department of Justice, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Greg Myers.

“It’s an insult to be arrested once for violating a law that is so vague and ambiguous that law enforcement officers cannot tell the difference between what is and what is not a legal firearm under this statute,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but to be arrested and jailed twice for the same offense is an outrage. Brendan Richards’ dilemma is a textbook example of why the California statute should be nullified.

“On both occasions,” he continued, “Mr. Richards was jailed and had to post non-refundable bail fees. He lost work due to his incarcerations. In both cases, the same Senior Criminalist John Yount issued reports that the firearms in Richards’ possession were not ‘assault weapons’ under California law. Mr. Richards now has a reasonable fear that his exercise of his fundamental Second Amendment rights will result in more wrongful arrests. We’re delighted to step in, with the CalGuns Foundation, on his behalf.

“This nonsense has to stop,” Gottlieb stated, “and the only way to insure that is to show California’s assault weapon statutes and regulations are unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous. Brendan Richards is not the only citizen faced with this kind of harassment under color of law.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. In addition to the landmark McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case, SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; New Orleans; Chicago and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and numerous amicus briefs holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: banglist; ca; consitution; saf
Police officers arrest a man twice because they think he possesses items that are illegal. They are wrong. It takes an expert to determine that the guns are legal. If a police officer cannot easily determine if an item is illegal or not, how can a citizen be able to do so?
1 posted on 11/22/2011 6:01:50 AM PST by marktwain
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
marktwain wrote:
"If a police officer cannot easily determine if an item is illegal or not, how can a citizen be able to do so?"

Well, in the PRK, that's the citizens' problem... 'citizen'.

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

2 posted on 11/22/2011 6:22:22 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Joe Brower; marktwain
Well, in the PRK, that's the citizens' problem... 'citizen'. COMRADE!

Fixed it for ya!

On a series note....my wife is from Thousand Oaks. Her Dad offered me a helluva good paying job, but I told him 3 things keep me from moving: 1) Hard to get CCW, 2) "Assault Weapons" Ban (let alone my NFA items), and 3) The fact that our 4000 sq.ft house in Arkansas will get us a 900-1200 sq ft house in Ventura County.

3 posted on 11/22/2011 6:41:44 AM PST by DCBryan1 ("Forget the Lawyers! FIRST YOU MUST kill the journalists!" - Die Ritter, die sagen, "nee"!)
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To: marktwain

The law is unconstitutional... if a trained police officer can’t know whether its illegal to possess a given type of weapon, enforcement is likely to be arbitrary and capricious. It cannot be enforced fairly since the average citizen has no way to know in advance if he is in compliance with the law. The law’s constitutional defect cannot be cured. It must be struck down.


4 posted on 11/22/2011 6:49:32 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: marktwain
"Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding", "shall not be infringed".

Easy. They are legal. Now bring Kalifornistanian law into agreement with the Constitution and all will be well. For those who insist on perpetuating their current legal fiction, try them and execute them for violation of USC Title 18 Sections 241 and 242.

5 posted on 11/22/2011 6:50:00 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
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To: Joe Brower; marktwain

I am so happy for myself to have moved away from my native California, the main thrust being the left wing’s out of control stranglehold on the state.
But I can’t help but have a broken heart for the complete loss of freedom the coastal dwellers are forcing upon the rest of the good people. I’d like to just scrape them off the face of the earth like a malignant growth.


6 posted on 11/22/2011 6:51:48 AM PST by Blue Collar Christian (Let's roll on this gunwalking thing already! NRA <BCC><)
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To: marktwain

The heck with “vague and ambiguous,” what about being against the Miller precedent? Does the firearm have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”? Is it “any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense”? If so, the law runs contrary to the logic and rationale of the Miller case, which stands on the 2nd amendment.


7 posted on 11/22/2011 6:54:24 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: DCBryan1

And besides, the Kali state government will find some way to crap all over your FIL’s business so that either it will disappear and you’d no be stuck in commie-ville with no job, or else he’ll wise up and move it to a free state where you can work for him and be free at the same time.


8 posted on 11/22/2011 6:54:58 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Dead Corpse

What exactly is the definition of “assault weapon”? Seems to me anything used to assault someone is an assault weapon.

Baseball bat, tire iron, -—you get the idea.

All guns have the capacity to kill human beings, pretty much. If all guns were removed from the face of the earth today, people would still kill people.


9 posted on 11/22/2011 6:59:47 AM PST by basil (It's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: basil
Agreed. I just hate it when "our side" concedes the larger issue while arguing over minutia.

"Wait, this isn't an 'assault rifle'"... When what they should be saying is "So farggin' what? It's a personal ARM that I am BEARing and you will not INFRINGE my Right."

The Founding Fathers believed strongly enough in such a basic principle to kill people over it and start a war against their King.

10 posted on 11/22/2011 7:05:29 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
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To: goldstategop
The law is unconstitutional... if a trained police officer can’t know whether its illegal to possess a given type of weapon, enforcement is likely to be arbitrary and capricious.

The "capricious" part goes all the way to the top of the state's law-enforcement community, too. IIRC, a change in the attorney general's office resulted in a re-interpretation of the exemption of SKS rifles from the ban, and a mandatory "turn them in or dispose of them otherwise" order. I wonder what the compliance rate was, back in 1999 - 2000.

11 posted on 11/22/2011 7:06:26 AM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Cboldt
While I understand where you are going with that, the Second Amendment uses the Militia clause as an example of why we have the Right. It is not a condition for exercising said Right. The twist on Miller you are trying to hoist their petard on could easily be twisted to mean that only those serving in militia have access to the protection for this Right.

Better to just say, "It's my Right. F*ck off." If they try to bother you after that, defend yourself.

12 posted on 11/22/2011 7:09:12 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
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To: Dead Corpse
-- The twist on Miller you are trying to hoist their petard on could easily be twisted to mean that only those serving in militia have access to the protection for this Right. --

A couple of counters to your objection. First, the militia is all those capable of bearing arms. Second, the Miller case was decided on the character of the weapon, not on whether or not Miller was part of a state or federal organized militia.

Not that the federal government has any intention of respecting its own SCOTUS precedents, even SCOTUS won't. Best to just stay clear of the bastards, because once you are in their sights, they will make you pay. Being "right" has nothing to do with it.

13 posted on 11/22/2011 7:28:48 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt
Not to be too argumentative, but those are distinctions without differentiation. It's a Right, to keep and bear arms. Anyone with any military training at all quickly realizes that anything can be a weapon. Give me enough time, and I could probably figure out how to kill you with nothing more than a packet of lime Jello.

Miller tried to establish a criteria by which RKBA could be qualified. It already is, "shall not be infringed". Period. Full stop.

14 posted on 11/22/2011 7:58:29 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
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To: Cboldt; Dead Corpse

Well regulated means that you, as a law abiding citizen, can show up at a formal or informal muster with military grade weaponry, and be able to do what your commander/governor/POTUS commands.

In 1776, you were well regulated if you could:

1) Hear the commands,
2) Do RIGHT SHOULDER ARMS, PRESENT ARMS, LOAD, AIM, FIRE, RECOVER, CHARGE! commands.

Today, that would translate into knowing how to do a tactical march, patrol, conduct a raid, set up an ambush, set up a patrol base, recon, throw a grenade, use a bayonet, use an M4, M203, AT4, M240, M249, .50 cal, etc.

I'm of the opinion that if you can "bear" it, you can own it. If you are say, rich as Bill Gates, I say that he could own an Aircraft Carrier and Wing and operate as a Privateer...ready to respond to Letters of Mark and Reprisal, and being called upon by his militia commander to defend his state and nation.

I better stop before I am called a right wing whacko.......

15 posted on 11/22/2011 8:05:09 AM PST by DCBryan1 ("Forget the Lawyers! FIRST YOU MUST kill the journalists!" - Die Ritter, die sagen, "nee"!)
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To: DCBryan1

In 1776, you were well regulated if you could:

1) Hear the commands,
2) Do RIGHT SHOULDER ARMS, PRESENT ARMS, LOAD, AIM, FIRE, RECOVER, CHARGE! commands.


If you couldn’t manage #1, you could still work in artillery, but then you probably already did ;)


16 posted on 11/22/2011 8:09:23 AM PST by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: DCBryan1

Not by me you won’t... I’m right there with you. ;-)


17 posted on 11/22/2011 8:15:23 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
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To: Dead Corpse
-- Miller tried to establish a criteria by which RKBA could be qualified. It already is, "shall not be infringed". Period. Full stop. --

My original point was only that the Miller case, read for what it says, already puts the kibosh to what CA is trying to do with its AWB.

Although I do agree with you, have to, because on observation one can see the courts twisting the meaning of cases in order to obtain the outcome they want. There is no useful precedent in a 2nd amendment case. The court makes it up as it goes along. Been that way for decades.

18 posted on 11/22/2011 8:29:40 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: marktwain

Of course the CaliCommie Legislature will probably “fix” the problem by outlawing all semi-autos.


19 posted on 11/22/2011 9:39:31 AM PST by Hugin ("Most time a man'll tell you his bad intentions if you listen and let yourself hear"--Open Range)
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To: Cboldt
My original point was only that the Miller case, read for what it says, already puts the kibosh to what CA is trying to do with its AWB.

Yep. I even acknowledged that before going off on my tangent. ;-)

20 posted on 11/22/2011 10:06:10 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
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To: marktwain
It takes an expert to determine that the guns are legal

Nonsense!

The laws, 2 involved, are clear. Certain receivers are banned. When "off list" receivers are part of a complete weapon, that weapon is still illegal if it has a defined combination of evil features.

Given a list of banned weapons and the evil features formula, 6th graders could make an accurate determination within a couple of minutes.

There are exception to the rule. I've witnessed more than one gun enthusiast question the legality of an unmodiified magazine release, without first determining if the weapon was center fire.

21 posted on 11/22/2011 1:52:00 PM PST by Amerigomag
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To: Amerigomag

Then it appears that the two policemen are guilty of false arrest, should be prosecuted, fined, and imprisoned.


22 posted on 11/22/2011 2:35:29 PM PST by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: DCBryan1
I wish we could tell the cops and judges that we're going to give a green-light to open/concealed carry everywhere just to see what happens. Since January 1 this year, over 800 people are dead in just two cities alone- New York and Chicago- both, strict anti-gun cities.(source: The Thug Report.com)

We could let it run for a few months and then compare statistics with the current misinterpretation of the 2nd amendment. What if murders dropped 50-60%? Or, rape, assaults, and property crimes dropped 50-80%?

And in cases where deadly force was used to stop a felonious assault, what cost comparisons might look like between the services of a morgue vs a life in prison at taxpayer's expense. Not to mention the value to the 'spared' victim who never had to face an attacker because said 'attacker' was taking a dirt nap?

Face it, in a country of 330 million people, there are going to be some that need killing- it's a statistical thing. In a country this large with a mostly unarmed populace, there will be many who will die needlessly- it too, is a statistical thing.

The probability that you'll suffer from a crime is much higher where the majority of people go around unarmed. Bad guys don't rob police stations when they can rob a 7-11. Bad guys don't rape a female officer getting into her squad car when they can attack a woman getting into her car at the mall. Common sense is something our Founding Fathers had in abundance and in common. The 2A is merely and extension of it.

I propose a moratorium on all gun laws for three months (say, June, July, and August) where persons of at least 18 years of age or those who've completed a gun safety course may carry at-will in places deemed to be unlikely hotbeds of emotion (like a courtroom) and a thorough examination of the outcomes to determine whether an extension of the moratorium ought to be applied to the remaining nine months and thereafter.

Americans have a natural aversion to tyranny- not so other societies. Whether it's black-robed tyranny or uniformed badge-worn tyranny, Americans detest it. They detest the notion that they haven't a right to protect themselves, their families, or even strangers should the need arise.

Such tyranny threatens their immediate Right to Life as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. It also diminishes their Right to Liberty declared in the same sentence, which ultimately leads to a state of Unhappiness that the Declaration sought to avoid by placing The Pursuit of Happiness on the same level as Life and Liberty. And these 'rights' were at the top of things our Founders wished to express in their 'Declaration'. Fancy that?

The statists and utopians wish to hone our society into a less abrasive one (as they see it) by removing the rough edges left by our Framers. Trouble is, their meddling is harming more people than not, and is contributing to the unraveling of our society with costs that could easily overwhelm us (in 15 trillion ways).

The second amendment may not be the only right that must be restored but it is a linchpin among the others that when removed, will lead to social collapse from freedom to tyranny. Every country with massive deaths attributable to government forces embraced gun control in various forms. Here, in America we have two examples where almost 500 people are killed in each city every year: Chicago and New York. Both anti-gun and competing for the prize of highest body count.

If the Declaration and the Constitution were on par with other works of art such as the Mona Lisa (and I think they are) what the statists and utopians have done is to render her unrecognizable. With her 'new' mustache and sideburns she looks more like Elvis with tits.

23 posted on 11/23/2011 12:12:16 AM PST by budwiesest (It's that girl from Alaska, again.)
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