Judge: California Gun Store Closures Do Not Infringe Rights of ‘Ordinary People’

A customer shops for 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.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

United States District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ruled on Monday afternoon that the closure of gun stores resulting from California Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) executive order does not infringe the rights of “ordinary people.”

Birotte’s ruling came after the NRA, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), California Gun Rights Coalition (CGRC), and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed a suit over California gun store closures and referenced three emergency orders, all issued on March 19, 2020. One order was issued by Governor Newsom, another by Los Angeles County, and yet another by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D).

He ruled:

In applying intermediate scrutiny to the County and City Orders, the Court must consider (1) whether the government’s stated objective is significant, substantial, or important, and (2) whether there is a reasonable fit between the challenged regulation and the asserted objective. See Chovan, 735 F.3d at 1139. The City’s and County’s stated objective—reducing the spread of COVID-19, a highly dangerous and infectious disease—undoubtedly constitutes an important government objective. Moreover, because this disease spreads where “[a]n infected person coughs, sneezes, or otherwise expels aerosolized droplets containing the virus,” (Dkt. No. 21) the closure of non-essential businesses, including firearms and ammunition retailers, reasonably fits the City’s and County’s stated objectives of reducing the spread of this disease. Accordingly, Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of the Second Amendment claim against the County and City Orders.
He added, “Plaintiffs likely cannot show that the orders fail to give ordinary people fair notice of what conduct is prohibited or invite arbitrary enforcement.”

Birotte was appointed by Barack Obama and sworn in on August 8, 2014. His ruling is expected to be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.


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