The Firearms Policy Coalition or FPC has been on the front lines of the legal battle for the Second Amendment since 2013. On June 4th United States District Judge the Honorable Roger T. Benitez stunned the leftist California fiefdom of Gavin Newsom when he ruled that the state’s “Assault Weapons Ban” was unconstitutional, in favor of the FPC.
Judge Benitez ruled, “Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” Benitez said in the ruling.
“Firearms deemed as ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles.”
He continued pointing out the media-fed hysteria surrounding the rifles. “One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles.
The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter.”
Naturally, Newsom, his Attorney General (read: hatchet man) Rob Bonta, his assistant several Deputy AG’s panicked and filed an “emergency motion to stay judgment”, because the Judge had ordered the restrictions on what Democrats falsely label “Assault Weapons” be dropped in 10 days. The Democrats just couldn’t have that and they framed their case in the maximum possible, emotionally driven form:
They wrote according to court documents, “If the district court’s judgment goes into effect while this case is on appeal, it would enable the immediate sale, possession, and manufacture in California of particularly dangerous weapons—firearms containing combat-oriented features that enhance the potential for deadly mass shootings and other forms of gun violence. A stay is needed to preserve the status quo and protect the public until this Court can rule on the merits”
California is struggling vainly to appeal that this self-evident infringement of the right to bear arms is in defiance of all logic and reason “constitutional” and are even attempting to use the landmark ruling of DC v. Heller which famously upheld the individual right to bear arms to support them.
Disgrace Gov. Gavin Newsom threw a massive temper tantrum in the press following the landmark decision saying “We need to call this federal judge out. He will continue to do damage, mark my word,” Newsom said. “This is a very focused agenda to work through this judge, where the decision’s already made before it’s even presented, who writes ‘press releases’ on behalf of the gun lobby.”
The FPC Is Battling Back — With Reinforcements
The FPC almost immediately locked and loaded and re-engaged by firing off (I know…) an opposition to the State of California’s motion to stay enforcement of Judge Benitez’s pro-2A ruling. They’ve brought plenty of ammunition to bear according to their write-up on FirearmsPolicy.org,
“The opposition argues that “[a] stay is not a matter of right, even if irreparable injury might otherwise result to the appellant,” that the Appellants failed to show a strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits, that the district court correctly found that firearms classified as “assault weapons” were in common use under the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, that the District Court correctly found that California’s characteristics-based prohibitions were not a reasonable fit to the State’s objectives, that the State’s motion did not even raise a meaningful legal challenge to the District Court’s analysis, that Appellants failed to show the likelihood of irreparable harm, that a failure to enforce the judgment will result in constitutional injury to others and harm the public interest, and that the State’s motion to stay should be denied.”
Californians were less than a month from having their constitutionally protected right restored before Newsom and Bonta stepped in.
— 𝙵𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚜 𝙿𝚘𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚢 𝙲𝚘𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 (@gunpolicy) June 21, 2021
The cavalry is also on the way, shortly after the FPC filed their opposition, a coalition of 21 states, led by Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed an Amicus brief supporting the FPC’s efforts to vacate the stay and have Judge Benitez’s constitutional orders enforced. So far the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming have joined in Amici to oppose California’s efforts to suppress the rights of its’ citizens.
Brnovich UNLOADED on California’s false use of the leftist buzzword “Assault Weapon”,
“Calling modern rifles “assault weapons” is a misnomer—
they are most often used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes like personal
protection or target and sport shooting. There is nothing sinister about citizens
keeping or bearing a modern rifle. Law-abiding citizens keeping and bearing
modern rifles benefit public safety, counter-balance the threat of illegal gun
violence, and help make our homes and streets safer.”
Brnovich and the twenty other AG’s argue quite accurately that California’s position fails the “Heller Test” a precedent set by the Supreme Court ruling in DC v. Heller. Judge Benitez in a 2019 ruling that struck a high-capacity magazine ban explained what the “Heller test” is,
“It is a hardware test. Is the firearm hardware commonly owned? Is the hardware commonly owned by law-abiding citizens? Is the hardware owned by those citizens for lawful purposes? If the answers are ‘yes,’ the test is over. The hardware is protected.”
CNN reported that FPC appellate counsel Erik Jaffe said “Unlike some appellate decisions in this area, Judge Benitez held the government to its burdens of proof, recognized the high hurdles the government must overcome when burdening the right to keep and bear arms, and gave the Second Amendment the weight and respect it deserves,” Click. Bang. Clear.