Federal Judge Rules Against CA’s Micro-Managed Handgun Roster

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

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney granted a preliminary injunction Monday against California’s micro-managed handgun roster, noting it limits state residents to purchasing old handgun models instead of state-of-the-art pistols.

The case was brought by the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

Carney focused on California’s microstamping and loaded chamber indicator requirements, both of which are conditions that must be met before a new handgun meets the threshold to legally be sold in the state.

California maintains a roster of new handguns that can be legally be sold in the state. The characteristics of those guns are impacted by the state’s Unsafe Handgun Act, requires certain handguns to have a loaded chamber indicator and requires others to have a microstamping feature.

The requirements severely narrow handgun options for Californians.

For example, the microstamping requirement was introduced in 2013 and Carney pointed out no new semiautomatic handguns have been approved for sale in the state since that time. Carney wrote:

 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 Unsafe Handgun Act’s chamber load indicator, magazine disconnect mechanism, and microstamping requirements do exactly that.

He then further added, “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.”

National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) senior vice president and general counsel Larry Keane commented in the Carney’s decision, saying, “NSSF has long contended that California’s Unsafe Handgun Act is an unconstitutional infringement denying Californians their ability to legally purchase the handguns that would best suit their needs. The court is correctly applying the holdings of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision that the Second Amendment is the only test when it comes to lawful firearm ownership and the holdings of Heller that firearms in common use are protected by the Second Amendment.”

The case is California Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bonta, No. SACV 22-01421-CJC in the US District Court Central District of California Southern Division.

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 and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.



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