Breaking News: California Waiting Period Might be in Trouble

A Federal District Court in California has denied the State a Motion for Summary Judgement on it’s 10 day waiting period law. This may put the law at risk of being tossed for being unconstitutional:

For example, there is no evidence regarding the nature of the background checks performed, how much time is necessary to perform a background check, or why 10-days are necessary in order to perform a background check. Harris admits that in the past California has had waiting periods that have ranged from 1 to 15 days. However, there is nothing before the Court to suggest that the 10-day period is a “reasonable fit” that is not substantially broader than necessary to determine if an individual is disqualified from owning a firearm. More information is needed. The Court will not grant summary judgment on this issue based on the bare arguments presented.

As for the “cooling down” rationale, Harris has not presented sufficient evidence that the 10-day waiting period is a “reasonable fit.” For example, there is no evidence concerning how the 10-day period was determined for purposes of “cooling off,” any evidence concerning “cooling off” and gun violence in general for those wishing to purchase a firearm, or that the 10-days is not substantially broader than necessary.

I get skeptical the Courts are really going to do anything substantive with the Second Amendment, but every once in a while they surprise me. I’m pleased a court has seemingly seen through the state’s bullshit. Hopefully at trial they’ll recognize this for what it is; a means to discourage people from exercising their rights.

9 thoughts on “Breaking News: California Waiting Period Might be in Trouble”

  1. I think the lack of any evidence showing that cooling off periods actual stop anything will kill them. Its something that sounds nice in theory- at least at first. Buts all just hooey.

    1. Especially if it’s not your first gun purchase. If they were actually willing to compromise with us like they always say, I could maybe see a short waiting period on your first purchase only. Even then, I think it’s just more feel-good garbage that doesn’t help anything.

      1. ^ This ^

        Or quantity limits on ammunition purchases. Supposedly it’s to prevent people from stockpiling in preparation for mass shootings, but history shows the individuals who plan those events really PLAN those events. A 50-round limit per purchase won’t stop (or even significantly slow) someone who begins their planning months ahead. It only affects the rest of us by limiting our recreational, otherwise-perfectly-legal buying and shooting, and costing us more by removing legal options to buy in bulk.

        It’s almost like all they intend to do – whatever they say they intend – is to make gun ownership and use as legally difficult and onerous as possible.

        1. And it doesn’t help that they think 50 rounds is a lot, when for avid shooters it might only be a warm up. They also don’t distinguish between caliber, I mean .22 is sold by the hundreds and is very cheap.

  2. While good news, I’m stuck in CA & have had my purchases in 10 day lockdown, what are the chances that this goes all of the way & the SCOTUS actually deems the practice constitutional? I’m not arguing that it is, but given the last minute shift by Roberts on Obamacare, I no long trust a rational response from the SCOTUS.

  3. Once upon a time I lived in southern CA. I shot with a group doing informal combat action stuff once a month and target shoot once a month. I would burn up 170-200 rounds a month. It’s not hard to do.

  4. Don’t over-read this. This decision is the court not letting the State AG end the suit right here and right now. She can (and reasonably could) prevail in the long run. The judge simply followed the rules and said, “No, you must continue playing until the end of the game.”

    We have seen cases (in this circuit) where a judge issues a ruling on an MSJ that appears favorable – even provocatively favorable – to our desired outcome, only to have it get completely reversed in the final order. Read the opening here for a review of the standards applied to the movant (the state) – the judge must take at face value that the 2A works the way the plaintiffs suggest it does. That standard ends here and now. The final order will be a ruling based on the judge’s view, and the presumptions of the plaintiff are not automatic.

    In other words, at this stage the game is rigged in favor of the plaintiffs, but that ends today.

    That said, there does appear a whisper of incredulity that the state can pass muster with a rational basis argument. This is a good shot across their bow (aka: steering): argue intermediate scrutiny or you will lose. The judge has basically told them they cannot 2A Two-Step using rational basis.

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