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HomeNewsUSFederal Judge Strikes Down California Gun Law, But Not So Fast

Federal Judge Strikes Down California Gun Law, But Not So Fast

California gun laws
California gun laws

July 30, 2013: Guns to be melted lie in a pile near a news conference at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s 20th annual Gun Melt at the Gerdau Steel Mill in Rancho Cucamonga, California. (Photo: Reuters)

A federal judge struck down a California gun law requiring a 10-day waiting period for the state’s gun purchases, but limited the ruling for current gun owners who have already passed a background check and for those who have a permit or certificate of eligibility to own a gun.

“As an individual plaintiff I was ecstatic,” said Madera County resident Brandon Combs, who is also the executive director of the Calguns Foundation. “It was years and an awful lot of work.”

Eastern District of California Judge Anthony W. Ishii ruled Monday that the law requiring a waiting period violated the Second Amendment rights of those who have already been approved to own a gun. The ruling includes those who have previously undergone a background check and already own a gun, people with concealed-carry permits and people who have a state certificate of eligibility to own a gun.

“Under state law, you can only buy one handgun a month,” Combs said. “We think that is simply unconstitutional.”

However, first-time gun buyers would still be subject to the waiting period, which Ishii emphasized in his ruling.

“Given the nature of the challenges made, the Court emphasizes that it is expressing no opinion on the constitutionality of the 10-day waiting period in general or as applied to first time California firearms purchasers,” he said.

The Sacramento Bee reports Ishii stayed his ruling for 180 days in order to give California time to change the law.

The law was challenged by two California gun owners and two gun rights groups. In their lawsuit against the Department of Justice and California Attorney General Kamala Harris, they argued that the 10-day waiting period was unconstitutional.

“This is a great win for Second Amendment civil rights and common sense,” Jeff Silvester, one of the gun owners who was a plaintiff in the case, said in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier with how this case turned out.”

Meanwhile, despite its limitations, Combs praised the ruling.

“California gun owners are not second-class citizens and the Second Amendment doesn’t protect second class rights,” Combs said. “This decision is an important step towards restoring fundamental individual liberties in the Golden State.”

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