Ninth Circuit: CA Firearm Transfer Fee a ‘Minimal’ Burden on Second Amendment

Mark O'Connor fills out his Federal background check paperwork as he purchases a handgun at the K&W Gunworks store on the day that U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, DC announced his executive action on guns on January 5, 2016 in Delray Beach, Florida. President Obama announced several measures that …
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On Thursday the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld California’s fee on firearms transfers, describing the fee as a “minimal” burden on the Second Amendment.

The transfer fee is $19, out of which $5 is used to “fund enforcement efforts against illegal firearm purchases.” The suit revolved around NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation’s (CRPA Foundation) efforts to stop the state from taking that $5 to fund disarmament efforts.

According to Reuters, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled unanimously in favor of upholding the fee. The court ruled that the law requiring the fee “advanced California’s interest in disarming people who are forbidden from possessing guns and rifles.” They ruled than any burden the fee places on the Second Amendment is only “minimal.”

The NRA and CRPA Foundation claimed the fee amounted to “unconstitutional tax on a fundamental right.”

Chief  Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas wrote, “The government has demonstrated an important public safety interest in this statutory scheme, and there is a reasonable fit between the government’s interest and the means it has chosen to achieve those ends.”

The other $14 of the $19 transfer fee is used to pay for the background check and paperwork involved in a firearm transfer.

On June 9, 2016, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Americans have no right to carry a concealed handgun in public for self-defense. The court’s majority opinion was written by  Judge William Fletcher, who said, “We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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