Assault Weapon Ban

California's Assault Weapon Ban Challenged in Federal Court

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The Second Amendment Foundation sues to challenge California's assault weapon ban. Details from its press release:

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California's ban on so-called "assault weapons," claiming that the statute is "vague and ambiguous" in its definition of assault weapons, leading to the arrest of a California man on two different occasions.

SAF is joined in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, by the CalGuns Foundation and Brendan John Richards, an honorably-discharged Marine and Iraq war veteran, who was arrested and jailed in May 2010 and August 2011. On both occasions, charges against Richards were dismissed when it was determined that he had not violated the law because firearms in his possession on both occasions were not "assault weapons" as defined by California law….

"It's an insult to be arrested once for violating a law that is so vague and ambiguous that law enforcement officers cannot tell the difference between what is and what is not a legal firearm under this statute," said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, "but to be arrested and jailed twice for the same offense is an outrage. Brendan Richards' dilemma is a textbook example of why the California statute should be nullified.

"On both occasions," he continued, "Mr. Richards was jailed and had to post non-refundable bail fees. He lost work due to his incarcerations….Mr. Richards now has a reasonable fear that his exercise of his fundamental Second Amendment rights will result in more wrongful arrests. We're delighted to step in, with the CalGuns Foundation, on his behalf."

Way the heck back in 1994, Jacob Sullum explained the silliness of "assault weapon" bans.

Past reporting from me on some past SAF-backed gun rights lawsuits and related issues in the wake of their 2010 victory in the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago, which established that the Second Amendment does indeed bind states and localities in their gun regulations.