“The government cannot credibly argue that handguns without CLI, MDM, and microstamping features pose unacceptable public safety risks when virtually all of the handguns available on the Roster and sold in California today lack those features.”
That’s the eminently reasonable conclusion of US District Judge Cormac J. Carney in his ruling today in Boland v. Bonta, a lawsuit challenging the state of California’s approved handgun roster and related mandates that pistols have magazine disconnects and loaded chamber indicators.
Judge Carney noted the inherent contradiction of the state banning the sale of guns they claim are dangerous to average citizens, yet allowing law enforcement agencies and officers to buy and carry those very same guns every day as they protect and serve Californians…with those allegedly dangerous firearms.
Similarly, if Off-Roster firearms were truly unsafe, California would not allow law enforcement to use them in the line of duty, when the stakes are highest. But the substantial majority of California’s law enforcement officers use Off-Roster handguns in the line of duty.
There’s also the inconvenient fact that the California DOJ — led at the time by an obscure Attorney General named Kamala Harris — lied about the availability of microstamping technology to firearm manufacturers.
The microstamping requirement has prevented any new handgun models from being added to the Roster since May 2013. Although the California Department of Justice certified on May 17, 2013 that the technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions, the technology still was not available. Indeed, to this day, a decade after the requirement took effect, no firearm manufacturer in the world makes a firearm with this capability.
In effect, the state mandated a non-existent technology in order to limit over time the number of firearms approved for retail sale to California citizens.
In the end, Judge Carney concluded . . .
Californians have the constitutional right to acquire and use state-of-the-art handguns to protect themselves. They should not be forced to settle for decade-old models of handguns to ensure that they remain safe inside or outside the home. But unfortunately, the UHA’s CLI, MDM, and microstamping requirements do exactly that. Because enforcing those requirements implicates the plain text of the Second Amendment, and the government fails to point to any well-established historical analogues that are consistent with them, those requirements are unconstitutional and their enforcement must be preliminarily enjoined. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is GRANTED.
And with that, Judge Carney blocked enforcement of the California law. His order, however, doesn’t go into effect for 14 days. That’s intended to give the state time to file an appeal and possibly convince a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judge to issue a stay blocking the District Court’s ruling, keeping the current law in place. Look for that to happen. Still, a good and long overdue outcome.
Read the full article here