FPC Files Proposed Findings of Fact and Law in Lawsuit Challenging California’s “Assault Weapons” Ban

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SAN DIEGO, CA (February 18, 2021) — This week, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed its post-trial Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Miller v. Becerra, its federal Second Amendment challenge to the State of California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons.” The filing can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

After the conclusion of the bench trial on February 5, Federal District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez instructed the plaintiffs and defendants to submit their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, which detail the legal and factual holdings they wish the Court to adopt in its judgment. FPC’s 64-page filing outlines the many ways in which California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” violates the Constitution and rights of individuals, including:

  • The arms banned by California as “assault weapons” are constitutionally protected
  • The arms banned by California as “assault weapons” are commonly possessed and used for lawful purposes including self-defense in the majority of the United States
  • The arms banned by California as “assault weapons” are not more lethal than arms that are not banned
  • Bans on “assault weapons” have no discernible effect on crime
  • California’s continuous expansion of the Assault Weapon Control Act (AWCA) is proof of its own failure
  • The arms banned by California as “assault weapons” are not used in most mass shootings

Additionally, the brief requests the Court hold that California’s “assault weapons” ban is categorical in nature, like the handgun ban in Heller, and that the ban fails any form of heightened scrutiny. With the trial and briefing now concluded, the Court is expected to issue its final judgment. FPC looks forward to the court’s decision in this important case.

The relief sought in Miller v. Becerra includes:

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  1. Declaratory relief adjudging that the definitions of “assault weapon” pursuant to Penal Code §§ 30515(a) and (b), and Title 11, California Code of Regulations §§ 5460 and 5471, are unconstitutional on their face and as applied, and violate the Second Amendment, to the extent that the State’s laws and regulations operate to prohibit or prevent Plaintiffs and similarly situated persons from exercising their rights, including acquiring, keeping, bearing, transporting, transferring, and using “assault weapons” for lawful purposes; 
  2. Declaratory relief adjudging that California Penal Code §§ 30600, 30605, 30800, 30910, 30915, 30945, 30950, 31000, and 31005 are unconstitutional on their face and as applied, and in violation of the Second Amendment, to the extent that the State’s laws and regulations operate to prohibit or prevent Plaintiffs and similarly situated persons from exercising their rights, including acquiring, keeping, bearing, transporting, transferring, and using “assault weapons” for lawful purposes; 
  3. Declaratory relief supporting an injunction, and an order temporarily and permanently enjoining Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, who receive actual notice of the injunction, from enforcement or application of Penal Code §§ 30515(a) and (b), 30600, 30605, 30800, 30910, 30915, 30945, 30950, 31000, and 31005, as well as Title 11, California Code of Regulations §§ 5460 and 5471, against Plaintiffs on an as-applied basis, and against all similarly situated persons; 
  4. Costs of suit, including attorneys’ fees and costs under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and any other applicable law; and, 
  5. Any and all further relief to which Plaintiffs may be justly entitled.

Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space, having recently filed two United States Supreme Court petitions for certiorari (review) (Folajtar v. Attorney General and Holloway v. Attorney General) and several major federal Second Amendment lawsuits, including challenges to the State of Maryland’s ban on “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh), Philadelphia’s Gun Permit Unit policies and practices (Fetsurka v. Outlaw), Pennsylvania’s ban on carry by adults under 21 years of age (Lara v. Evanchick), California’s Handgun Ban and “Roster” laws (Renna v. Becerra), Maryland’s carry ban (Call v. Jones), New Jersey’s carry ban (Bennett v. Davis), New York City’s carry ban (Greco v. New York City), the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. BATFE), and others, with many more cases being prepared today. To follow these and other legal cases FPC is actively working on, visit the Legal Action section of FPC’s website or follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.

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