Lawsuit Filed Against California Ban on Firearms ‘In Common Use’

FILE - In this Dec. 4, 2019 file photo California Attorney General Xavier Becerra discusses settlements reached with 52 automobile parts manufacturers for illegal bid rigging during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. Bacerra's office urged a state appeals court Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019 to refrain from ordering it to …
Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a lawsuit this week alleging California’s use of an approved-gun “Roster” effectively bans “thousands of handgun models” available throughout the rest of the country.

The Firearm Policy Coalition, San Diego County Gun Owners, and numerous businesses and individuals are plaintiffs with SAF.

Defendants in the lawsuit are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Luis Lopez, director of the state Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms, in their official capacities.

The lawsuit, Renna v. Becerra, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on November 10, 2020.

Plaintiff’s open the lawsuit by pointing to the Supreme Court of the United States ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and claiming that guns in common use for self-defense at any given time are protected by the Second Amendment:

In Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court provided a simple Second Amendment test in crystal clear language. It is a test that anyone can understand. The right to keep and bear arms is a right enjoyed by law-abiding citizens to have arms that are not unusual in common use for lawful purposes like self-defense.

Plaintiff’s then claim California’s “Roster” rules and regulations deny Californians the ability to acquire and possess firearms in common use for self-defense:

The State of California’s “unsafe handgun” statutes…and Defendants’ regulations, policies, and practices enforcing the State’s regulatory scheme (collectively hereinafter referred to as “California’s Handgun Ban”), individually and collectively prevent ordinary law-abiding citizens who are not prohibited from possessing or acquiring firearms from purchasing categorically protected handguns that are in common use for self-defense and other lawful purposes, and further prevent licensed retailers from selling such handguns to typical law-abiding individuals, and thus violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Plaintiff’s seek a declaratory judgement stating that California’s Handgun Ban does prevent law-abiding Californians from purchasing firearms that are purchasable and in common use for self-defense throughout the country. They also seek “a preliminary and permanent injunction restraining Defendants and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in concert or participation  with them, and all persons who have notice of the injunction, from enforcing California’s Handgun Ban statutes.”

Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president, commented on the handgun ban and how it has been incrementally broadened over time, saying, “It is clear that the intent of California’s anti-gun lawmakers is to ban more and more protected arms through increasingly restrictive legislation. This expanded handgun ban scheme cannot go without challenge. We look forward to prevailing in this case and winning Second Amendment rights one lawsuit at a time.”

Firearm Policy Coalition’s Adam Kraut added, “In Heller the U.S. Supreme Court provided a simple test: if an arm is bearable and in common use for lawful purposes, it is prima facie protected under the Second Amendment, period. The handguns California prevents law-abiding people from purchasing and making themselves are protected arms.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa 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 You can sign up to get Down Range at


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