The First Shot: NRA Files Landmark Second Amendment Lawsuit in California

Published on April 26, 2017  |  By 2ANews.us 
In Assault Weapons & Large Capacity Magazines, Concealed & Open Carry, Laws & Legal Challenges, Second Amendment

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Coronado, Calif. (Image: Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

The NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association filed a landmark lawsuit with a Santa Ana federal court on Monday, challenging numerous anti-gun measures signed into law last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The Complaint: “Rupp vs. Becerra”

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced the lawsuit on Monday. The suit, “Rupp v. Becerra”, seeks to have the federal court declare California’s Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA), Proposition 63, and additional California laws unconstitutional because they infringe on the right of law-abiding resident’s right to keep and bear arms in that state under the Second Amendment.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, is named as the sole defendant in the complaint “in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California”. The plaintiffs include a number of private citizens as well as the California Rifle & Pistol Association.  The complaint also contains provisions allowing additional plaintiffs, currently named as “[John] Does 1 to 10”, to join the action.


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The 32-page complaint states:

“Plaintiffs are law-abiding California residents who seek to protect themselves and their families with rifles owned and in common use by millions of Americans for self-defense.”

“The Second Amendment squarely protects (the) right to keep and bear arms, typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes… California plainly infringes that right by completely barring Plaintiffs from acquiring, transferring, or possessing commonly owned rifles that it pejoratively labels “assault weapons”—a non-technical, political term of ever-changing definition and scope with no connection to the public safety interests that the law purports to serve”.

CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded to the lawsuit, stating he intends to “rigorously fight” the action.

First of “multiple” lawsuits to be filed

In a statement released by the NRA-ILA on Monday, they hint of additional lawsuits to be filed, “Multiple lawsuits challenging other aspects of the unconstitutional laws passed last year are also in the works and will be filed in the coming weeks”

According to the NRA, the additional lawsuits “in the works” will challenge numerous CA laws that punish law-abiding gun owners, including the Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA), and Proposition 63, a ballot measure that prohibited the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines background check in order to purchase ammunition. Proposition 63 was widely condemned by law enforcement officials as  being ineffective against crime and punitive towards law-abiding citizens.

The suit exposes the hypocrisy of California’s gun “feature” restrictions

California classifies as “assault weapons” dozens of widely-used popular rifles simply because they share features deemed by  less-than-knowledgeable liberal lawmakers to be too “scary”, too “dangerous”, or too “powerful”.

The NRA noted the hypocrisy of such restrictions in its statement about the suit, “None of these features that qualify a rifle for the State’s prohibition have anything to do with rate of fire, ammunition capacity, power, or anything else linked to the rifle’s potential to be exploited for crime. To the contrary, their purpose is to promote ergonomic comfort, accuracy, and safe handling—that is, to make the rifles safer and more effective for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.”


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Chuck Michel, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the suit, agrees, pointing out that the AR-15s and similar rifles are “commonly possessed for lawful purposes by law-abiding citizens for self- defense or shooting sports.”

The Supreme Court: “Assault Weapon” is “a political term developed by anti-gun publicists”

According to the Supreme Court of the United States, “Prior to 1989, the term “assault weapon” did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term, developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of “assault rifles” so as to allow an attack on as many additional firearms as possible on the basis of undefined “evil” appearance.’ ” Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 26 U.S. 914, 1001 n.16 (2000).

President Trump’s plans to save the Second Amendment: judicial appointments “in the mold of Justice Scalia”

President Trump campaigned on promises to save the Second Amendment through his judicial appointments to the Supreme Court. During the October 9 presidential debate, Trump stated, “I am looking to appoint judges very much in the mold of Justice Scalia… People that will respect the constitution of the United States. And I think that this is so important–also, the Second Amendment which is totally under siege by people like Hillary Clinton.”

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