SAF, CALGUNS Foundation Sue California Over Firearms Statue

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The Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation joined the Calguns Foundation lawsuit against the California Department of Justice and Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris filed December 23 contesting the state’s 10-day waiting period between gun purchases.

“We’ve joined in this lawsuit because it makes no sense for California to require a gun owner who already possesses a firearm from buying another one within a few days,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “We recall what Dr. Martin Luther King said, that ‘A right delayed is a right denied.'”

“Laws that infringe on the right to purchase arms have to be more than just merely rational and must directly serve important governmental interests,” said Gene Hoffman, the chairman of the Calguns Foundation.

“Here, the law is not just irrational but actually contradictory. We filed this case right before Christmas in the hopes that, by next Christmas, gun owners will not suffer this continuing infringement on their right to acquire firearms,” he said.

“The state has absolutely no reason to infringe the rights of California gun owners who already possess firearms when they buy another one,” said Jason Davis, who is the attorney for the plaintiffs. California currently requires the registration of handguns in California. 

The case, known as Jeff Silvester, et al., v. Kameal D. Harris, et al., was brought in the name of individual plaintiffs Jeff Silvester, Michael Poeschl, and Brandon Combs. Each man has firearms registered with the State of California. Combs and Silvester also have firearms licenses from the state that constitute ongoing background checks.

“I have a license to carry a loaded firearm across the state,” said Silvester.

“It is ridiculous that I have to wait another 10 days to pick up a new firearm when I’m standing there in the gun store lawfully carrying one the whole time,” he said.

Poeschl said, “What’s really frustrating is that California is one of the very few states that forces gun owners to register all handguns that they buy. If the state’s database saying that I already lawfully own a gun isn’t proof that I don’t need a ‘cooling-off’ period, then what is?”

Combs said, “As a collector, I submitted to a Live Scan background check and obtained a Certificate of Eligibility to Possess Firearms from the State of California at my own expense.”

The 10-day requirement is not appropriate in with current Internet-carried records, he said.

“In the Internet era, where every California gun dealer has a computer connected directly to the state’s databases, there is no logical reason to force me to wait 10 days and make another trip simply because California doesn’t want to acknowledge the cCertificate that it issued to me,” he said.

“I have registered guns, and I have the State telling me that I can possess guns, but for some reason I can’t exercise my constitutionally protected rights for another 10 days?” he said.

“That’s insane.”