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Free Minds & Free Markets

California Cities Are Free to Regulate Gun Stores Out of Existence

More Second Amendment setbacks in the Golden State when the Supreme Court declines to take a case about city zoning

Benkrut/Dreamstime.comBenkrut/Dreamstime.comThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sent a clear message to millions of gun owners in California: You're living in a Second Amendment-free zone.

In an order on Monday, without explanation or comment, the Court rejected a civil rights lawsuit brought by the Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation. Those groups had hoped the justices would rule that the Second Amendment continues to apply even in the progressive enclaves of the left coast—and that law-abiding California residents possess the right to buy and sell firearms.

Instead, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, a decision that underscores its willingness to let California legislators and judges evade the Second Amendment within the borders of the state.

"There are no significant Second Amendment obstacles to local and state gun control at this point," said Don Kilmer, an attorney in San Jose, California, who is representing the gun rights groups. Also representing them is Alan Gura, who has taken two Second Amendment cases to the Supreme Court before.

Their lawsuit challenges a decision by Alameda, a California county that includes Oakland and other east bay cities, to enact a zoning law so onerous it effectively bans gun stores. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with Alameda in 2017, saying that "no historical authority suggests that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to sell a firearm."

At least Monday's decision serves one useful purpose: It exposes the federal judiciary's willingness to elevate some constitutional rights over others.

If a city enacted zoning laws that effectively outlawed abortion clinics, and a federal appeals court had permitted it, the Supreme Court would have stepped in a heartbeat later. Under precedents going back to Maher v. Roe (1977), any law representing "direct state interference" with abortion is evaluated using strict scrutiny, the most exacting standard of legal review. Few such laws survive. (The 9th Circuit did not apply strict scrutiny to Alameda's law.)

In today's California, even adult movie theaters enjoy greater legal protections than gun stores. In a 1986 decision, the Supreme Court said the First Amendment allows municipalities to restrict such theaters (apparently they were a thing before the Internet) only if zoning laws provide a "reasonable opportunity to open and operate an adult theater within the city."

The current lawsuit arose when three entrepreneurs, John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga, and Gary Gamaza, formed a partnership called Valley Guns and Ammo and started to look for potential locations in Alameda County. They planned to open a specialty shop that, in addition to selling firearms and ammunition, would have been the only store in the area to offer firearm safety training and certification, gunsmithing and repairs, and consignment and appraisal services.

Finding a location was difficult. An Alameda County zoning ordinance singles out gun stores by imposing extraordinarily strict rules. The location must be 500 feet away from any residentially zoned area, from any elementary, middle, or high school, from any preschool or day care center, from any other firearm retailer, and from any liquor stores, bars, or restaurants where liquor is served.

Alameda's true motive, of course, was to outlaw gun stores. But the three men managed to find a location that complied—it was over 500 feet from the store to the front door of the nearest home—and Alameda's zoning board approved the application. After complaints from anti-gun activists, however, the county changed its policy to require a distance of 500 feet from the store to the nearest area that was zoned for residential use. That made the distance from the store to the nearest home 446 feet, which the county said was not far enough.

The Calguns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees sued on behalf of the three entrepreneurs, but the outcome before the 9th Circuit was predetermined. This is one circuit that has never seen a Second Amendment violation and, unless President Donald Trump fills the current vacancies with reasonable picks, likely never will.

In theory, after the Supreme Court's Heller decision in 2008, the Second Amendment right to self-defense joined the pantheon of constitutional rights including the right to worship, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, and the right to speak freely. After the court's followup McDonald decision in 2010, it was supposed to be another fundamental right for all Americans to enjoy.

Alas, the Bill of Rights is not self-enforcing; our judiciary is entrusted with upholding and defending it. But the unfortunate reality today is that many federal judges, including a majority of the 9th Circuit, have creatively defined away Americans' right to self defense. And a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court have shown themselves, repeatedly, to be unwilling to do anything about it.

"If a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a dissent from his colleagues' decision not to intervene after the 9th Circuit upheld another California anti-gun measure in February. "But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court… The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court's constitutional orphan." (Justice Neil Gorsuch joined Thomas in a separate dissent last year that made a similar point.)

Kilmer, the San Jose attorney representing the gun rights groups against Alameda, says: "The problem with the 9th Circuit's activism, and the refusal of the Supreme Court to cabin in their abuses, is that the California legislature and local municipalities will feel free to do whatever they want."

Exactly so: the Second Amendment has been effectively repealed inside California. I suspect that California's millions of gun owners, who are subject to intrusive new registration requirements starting in July, are beginning to wonder: If federal judges routinely ignore the law, why can't I?

Photo Credit: Benkrut/Dreamstime.com

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It exposes the federal judiciary's willingness to elevate some constitutional rights over others.

    If the Founders wanted to protect the right to bear arms they should have enumerated it in the Bill of Rights like abortion.

  • plusafdotcom||

    http://www.plusaf.com/homepage.....finger.jpg says it all...

    No you don't, no you didn't and nobody in their fucking right mind recruits competition into their own marked, FOOL.

  • mad_kalak||

    sh*t, that's funny

  • Ron||

    "no historical authority suggests that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to sell a firearm."

    If you can't get the fire arm then you can't utilize your right. Based on this idea of not required to provide access then maybe we should not provide a method of voting on election day. lets see how that idea goes over

  • Juice||

    Echoing the article, you may have a right to have an abortion done, but not a right to sell abortions, according to the court. Or something like that.

  • Ron||

    Yea, I made my comment before I finished the article. Need to read entire article and sometimes the comments before i comment

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Money isn't abortion!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It's just about time for everyone to figure out that either something is done about the progressives or we we lose the constitution, and our freedoms.

  • DarrenM||

    Start buying up firearms. You can sell them at a huge profit on the black market later.

  • Sufi||

    You'll probably look great in your orange jumpsuit.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Ah, but if one of the major problems of today is that criminals have illegal weapons, ALL the laws to prevent that from happening must have been ineffective OR we'd have tons of headlines about illegal sales of weapons by legally registered owners, right?

    So, odds of being fitted for the orange overalls must be pretty slim... :)

  • Tionico||

    Or maybe we can tell people it's fine and dandy to kill their unborn babies, but pass laws making it impoosible to open a fixed place of business where this can take place. Same sick logic.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Oh, piss off.. if you were a true libertarian, you'd oppose the government's power to kill someone (capital punishment,) as well as the individual's right to make their own choices (to terminate a pregnancy.)

    You and virtually all other Religionists of the same ilk can't understand that dichotomy or self-contradictory pair of beliefs, and therein lies one of the major problems in our culture today... the lack of ability for Critical Thinking.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    A "true libertarian" - is that anything like a "True Scotsman"?

  • sarcasmic||

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with Alameda in 2017, saying that "no historical authority suggests that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to sell a firearm."

    Good point. The 2A says "keep and bear" and nothing about buying or selling. Outlawing the sales of weapons and ammunition is like totally constitutional.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    You can read the NY Times; you just can't sell it.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The communists who run the NY Times disagree with you, because it's not capitalism when they do it.

  • damikesc||

    There is a right to free speech and free press.

    Nothing in regards to reading shit.

    Jurisprudence is off in that area.

    We need RBG to leave the Court and allow somebody interested in rights on.

  • Hank Phillips||

    All the more reason to plunk for the Atlas Shrugged Amendment and delete the LP plank pandering to good-faith, doctor-killing warriors for the babies. Before the Supreme Court copied the LP Overpopulation Plank into Roe v. Wade and thereby reversed Comstock laws in These States and Canada, neither the Dem nor Republican looters published a word about birth control in their platforms. As soon as we remove mention of that already-won battle, we'll stop attracting ethical mephitidae and start attracting women voters.

  • Hank Phillips||

    All the more reason to plunk for the Atlas Shrugged Amendment and delete the LP plank pandering to good-faith, doctor-killing warriors for the babies. Before the Supreme Court copied the LP Overpopulation Plank into Roe v. Wade and thereby reversed Comstock laws in These States and Canada, neither the Dem nor Republican looters published a word about birth control in their platforms. As soon as we remove mention of that already-won battle, we'll stop attracting ethical mephitidae and start attracting women voters.

  • DarrenM||

    It's like outlawing bullets. There is nothing in the Constitution that says anyone has any right to have ammunition.

  • Juice||

    I thought Heller v DC cleared all that up. I guess I thought wrong.

  • Juice||

    Scratch that. I thought McDonald v Chicago cleared all that up.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It did, until the Supreme court said "Never mind!" by refusing to take any more 2nd amendment cases. That signaled that the current Court doesn't have a majority interested in upholding the 2nd amendment.

    I wonder which of the Justices in the McDonald majority flipped? Normally I'd bet Kennedy, but Roberts has been kind of a squish of late.

  • Juice||

    of late

    ie the whole time he's been on the court

  • flyfishnevada||

    Uh, remember that whole "the federal government can make you buy insurance" thing?

  • Tionico||

    Yup. Roberts on his own initiative decided on the basis of absolutely noting that the price exacted from one for refusing to sign up for the kinyunkare debacle was not a FINE it was a TAX.... and this made the whole thing "legal". Except, nothing in the pleadings, arguments, testimony ever called the fine a "tax", so Roberts FAILED to judge per the law and facts of the case..... he made up his own way. Further, he forgot that ALL laws that are any form of TAX must initiate in the House of Representatives. OBumerTax originated in the Senate. If any other law that imposed a tax had originated in the Senate, and come brefore that court, they'd have stomped on it.

    Methinks Mr. Roberts had himself a little "talking to" by someone with a big stick held behind his back. Someone has SOMETHING on Roberts that "got his attention". He's been wierd ever since.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "If any other law that imposed a tax had originated in the Senate, and come brefore that court, they'd have stomped on it."

    If only. The Court has been accepting that "Take a dead House bill, and gut it in the Senate" maneuver for decades. It's an aspect of the enrolled bill doctrine: If the leaders of the House and Senate say everything is kosher, the Supreme court flatly refuses to look at any evidence they're lying.

  • DJK||

    Eh. In the grand scheme, this isn't a particularly big case. So they refused to grant cert. That could mean what you suggest or it could mean that this case isn't worth fighting over, that it's not a clear winner, etc. For instance, I'm not sure where Declan is getting his conclusions in the cases he cites (non-precedential dicta, maybe?). This "decision" (remember, SCOTUS didn't actually say anything here) seems totally consistent with Maher v. Roe and City of Renton. Very strange to cite to those cases, when they seem to uphold similar restrictions against other types of activities.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You may think this isn't a particularly big case in "the grand scheme", but they've refused EVERY 2nd amendment case since McDonald. Every last one, without comment.

    It adds up. The lower courts are now aware that they're free to subject the 2nd amendment to the death of a thousand cuts, even as they did between Miller and Heller. The cuts are coming faster and deeper all the time.

    Thomas is right: This isn't how the Court is supposed to treat civil rights.

  • DJK||

    False. Caetano v. Massachusetts. Huge win for the pro-2A side.

  • DJK||

    SCOTUS is way more strategic than you're thinking. There is no point to taking a case that deals with a fairly minor issue which appears to be entirely consistent with SCOTUS's own zoning law precedents. If you do so, you risk having one of your more stare decisis-minded colleagues rule for the government. You only have 5 votes at best to begin with. Pro-2A jurisprudence is in its early phase. You need to only take big cases where the pro-2A side is of one mind. The facts of this case were not good enough to risk it.

  • ||

    As Californians still have their Cheaper Than Dirt catalogs this is not a crisis. They just lost the ability to pay extra for guns from their local shooting ranges - which don't exist.

  • DJK||

    You still have to have an in-state FFL take shipment of the gun. That's gonna add $100 to the price, minimum. I've found that the online dealers aren't much cheaper than local stores once you factor this in.

  • DickW||

    > local shooting ranges - which don't exist

    Though I was shooting at one in Vacaville, CA

    Shot my magnum rifle and one of the range's pistols.

  • EscherEnigma||

    They just lost the ability to pay extra for guns from their local shooting ranges - which don't exist.


    One is along my commute to work. Advertises loud and proud as an indoor shooting range. And I used to live a block away from "Guns R Us".

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I stand corrected.

  • ||

    Not really. They only ruled that the absolute, categorical ban on stun guns violated the 2nd Amendment. Massachusetts is still free to (and likely will) require a "may-issue" permit to carry, which basically means a ban for 99% of people..

  • DJK||

    I suggest that you read the per curiam of Caetano. SCOTUS's wording here is at least as strong as it was in Heller and McDonald. Have patience. Pro-2A jurisprudence is in its infancy.

  • Steponsnek||

    Agree that it's a long game and will probably require many decades of litigation. But as to your Caetano argument, lower courts have generally read the concurring opinion to be something other than persuasive, let alone binding. For example, Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114 (2017): "Of course, that reading of Heller failed to garner a Court majority in Caetano." (Also holding that AR-15s and "large capacity" magazines are "like" the "M-16 rifles" Heller has been read to place outside of Second Amendment protection.)

  • DJK||

    I don't think I was arguing that Caetano is any more or less of a win than Heller or McDonald. To the extent that lower courts have been willing to ignore some of the wording of Heller and McDonald, they'll be willing to ignore some of the wording of Caetano.

  • Zeb||

    I know a bunch of people with permits in Mass. It's a pain, but it seems like they will issue them to most people who take the course and pass the backgroud check. Not good or constitutional, but not the worst.

  • μ Aggressor||

    I'm glad I read the wiki on that one, it IS a huge win

  • μ Aggressor||

    I'm glad I read the wiki on that one, it IS a huge win. I'd heard about it, but they were pretty expansive about what kinds of weapons are protected, which is great

  • μ Aggressor||

    I'm glad I read the wiki on that one, it IS a huge win. I'd heard about it, but they were pretty expansive about what kinds of weapons are protected, which is great

  • μ Aggressor||

    I'm glad I read the wiki on that one, it IS a huge win. I'd heard about it, but they were pretty expansive about what kinds of weapons are protected, which is great

  • DJK||

    Was it a huge win? ;-P

  • DJK||

    How did either of those cases clear these things up? People seem to think that Heller and McDonald said A LOT more than they actually did.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They said less than they might of, but a lot more than many of the circuits were willing to hear.

  • Careless||

    It's presumably two. Four would grant cert. Roberts is a real gem.

  • mad_kalak||

    Let's hope he's just playing the long game and waiting until Kennedy retires, even if he was on board with Heller/McDonald, he may not be further along than that.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Does a kitchen table FFL qualify as a "gun store"?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    One of Clinton's anti-gun actions, as I recall, was requiring that FFL's prove they have a place of business other than their residential address. So, no.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    I meant for purposes of these zoning laws.

    The law should be struck down, but what stops an FFL, if they count as a 'store', from renting office space just out of town?

  • DaveSs||

    Federal rules on FFLs probably

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    How would the feds stop someone in a city from renting office space just outside that city? Nobody lives in one part of a metro area but works in another?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    This is what will happen. However, my guess is that you'll see laws like this at the county level, pushing them even farther out.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Scratch that, it is at the county level.

  • DaveSs||

    I'll admit, I'm not an expert but I rather suspect that ATF would expect the office space to be the place of business...where the books, and the firearms, etc are kept.

    So as a way of getting around the ordinance by renting office space outside of town as a place of business to avoid the ordinance, and then doing all the actual business from your home, would almost certainly bring the ATF down on you when they found out.

  • Malvolio||

    "Bringing down the ATF" would bring another lawsuit: OK, the 9th says there is no Constitutional right to have a gun store in a particular county, but if the ATF interprets its rules this way, there is a significant Constitutional impairment for people in this county.

    (It's roughly the same line of argument that JUST LOST, but obviously, if they aren't going to worry about consistency, neither am I.)

  • Rossami||

    Nothing stops the store from renting space in a jurisdiction outside of these zoning laws. That's beside the point.

    Would that be acceptable in the context of any other enumerated right? Would any court, for example, argue that they can meet their Sixth Amendment rights if a city arbitrarily created zoning laws that excluded 100% of lawyers? Do you not think it would be a First Amendment violation if zoning rules were deliberately crafted to exclude all mosques? All synagogues? All churches?

    Remember that there is no limit on the scope of a zoning rule. You may think this is a trivial issue because the store can just step over the village line. But what happens when the neighboring jurisdiction "independently" passes the same restriction? What if the state steps in with "uniform restrictions"? At what point does a 'minor inconvenience in access' become a de facto ban?

  • Arthur Rubin||

    I don't know if this is current, but I do recall that a restrictive covenant against lawyers IS NOT prohibited by antidiscrimination laws. A prohibition against law offices might not stand, but one against lawyers being resident might stand.

  • Tionico||

    It is the entire county of Alameda. The same county that used to allow a public facility to hose monthly gunshows, until they decided to stop that. Long court battles.... the FFL license itself is dependent upon not the person but the location. Yes, the person has to qualify, so does the space. And a rented office might qualify, but BATF have some pretty stringent requirements for security. A standard office type facility would be dicey.... But "renting an office space just outside of town" would still be IN Alameda County.
    Remember, this is the same county that rutned a blind eye for years on an illegal residency in a warehouse, nonstandard exits, etc, and a fire happened.. and killed quite a few of the residents. Alameda knew about it, but did.... nuthin. Twisted priorities they've got. Prolly more folks died in that fire than have died in all firearms related incidents where the ogun was lawfully pruchased at one of the gun stores within the county before they started banning them.

  • Tionico||

    It wasn't that the place had to be other than your residence address, but it cannot be in the same structure as your residence. Friend of mine had his gunshop built in as part of the attached garage, and had done so just before this came in, so he was grandfathred. Needed to move, new place didn't have anything so he built a small shop detached, Could NOT make it in the garage. So, no, kitchen table shop cannot get FFL.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Next step: Pass a law making it illegal for Californians to buy guns online.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Yea, the Interstate Commerce Clause centralizes all power in the Federal Government, except for this one instance.

  • Juice||

    My guess is that you would still be able to buy a gun out of state and "bear" it all the way into California.

  • LarryA||

    Nope.

    If you reside in California and buy a gun from an FFL in any other state the FFL must send the gun to a California FFL, who will then transfer it to you following all California laws.

    If you buy a gun from a resident of any other state and get caught it will cost each of you 10 years in Federal prison.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's a pain, you have to actually move out of California, become a citizen of another state, buy the gun, and then move back.

  • Libertymike||

    This should come as no surprise.

    A Constitution of No Authority.

  • Hank Phillips||

    "And Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade." --Ayn Rand, 1957
    LP plank becomes Roe v. Wade, 1973
    1976 -- Prohibition party platform adds plank in attempt to reverse Libertarian victory: "We support a Constitutional Amendment to protect the unborn by prohibiting abortion except in those very rare cases where the life of the mother is seriously endangered."
    The Second Amendment is in no danger whatsoever compared to the threat to individual rights posed by posed by christianofascist doctor-killers. Reason will better support gun rights from an imaginary 2/3 majority by sounding less like Robert Dear and more like John Hospers and Toni Nathan.

  • flyfishnevada||

    So much for the supposed "conservative" majority. They're all statists in one way or another and sooner or later, statists all agree on one thing...the state is supreme.

  • damikesc||

    Only option left is for gun makers to not sell to CA state employees, like cops.

  • DJK||

    That would be hilarious.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    If a gun company did this, they'd just buy from another company. If all gun companies did this, they'd scream about collusion and set the courts on them.

  • DaveSs||

    Barrett did this about 10 years ago or so

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yes, but the .50 BMG is a pretty exotic item. A more common caliber is going to have multiple sellers.

  • NYC2AZ||

  • BYODB||

    Just more proof that the Republic is dead, I'm not really sure why this is even particularly newsworthy anymore. Enumerated rights have less weight than any other kind these days, with no amendments to the constitution.


    Rule of law is dead, long live the rule of man.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's always been rule of man. We live in a feudal system. Still. Instead of knights in shining armor we've got cops with vests. Instead of kings in robes we've got rulers in suits. Government workers are the aristocracy who live off the labors of the people. They do whatever they want and we pick up the pieces. That's how it has always been and always will be.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Instead of a scepter and throne we have a pen and phone.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I always point out this can all go away if we just rid ourselves of the progressives. Which can mean many things, including forced permanent exile, imprisonment, etc.. This usual horrifies almost everyone here. Yet look where we are. Regardless of who wins elections, our rights are infringed upon at an ever increasing scope and breadth.

    So the question is, how much are your freedoms worth to all of you? The founders risked everything to be free and establish our constitutional republic. What are you willing to risk? Or sacrifice?

    People can tell me jphow horrible I am, and maybe they're right. But I know how much I value my god given rights and am not afraid to say so. What about the rest of,you?

  • Alcibiades||

    One of America's greatest writers passes on.

    Tom Wolfe (RIP)

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yeah, I just posted in the Reason round up. I discovered him when I was a teenager, and feel in love with all his stuff. Even his odd pamphlets like From Bauhaus to Our House.

    Out of any literary he truly loved people. His amazing early work focused on normal people, and the cool things they were doing. The early car culture. Teen bop music. Early stock car racing.

    He talked about normal people with ecstasy. He was not cynical, which is so rate in much of Literature. He stood for all people and amazing they lead.

  • Alcibiades||

    A true American original in the lineage of Twain etc.

    I suspect he will be remembered and read long after many other critical darlings of the literary world are only footnotes.

    Recall reading The Right Stuff and and being almost physically incapable of putting that book down.

    Haven't read The Bonfire of the Vanities, will mark his passing by setting that right.

  • Alcibiades||

    A true American original in the lineage of Twain etc.

    I suspect he will be remembered and read long after many other critical darlings of the literary world are only footnotes.

    Recall reading The Right Stuff and and being almost physically incapable of putting that book down.

    Haven't read The Bonfire of the Vanities, will mark his passing by setting that right.

  • Rich||

    If federal judges routinely ignore the law, why can't I?

    You can. Just don't shout it from the rooftops.

    At least until this scenario is realized.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    2nd best rant, right after Pacino's opening statement in "And Justice for All"

  • DJK||

    Declan, can you explain how this basically bans gun stores in Alameda County? I'm very confused, as I've purchased from gun stores within the county. For instance, Solar Tactical has stores in the cities of Hayward and Livermore, which are both in Alameda County. A quick Google search shows many other gun stores within the county. Is this a grandfathering type of thing?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Did you buy them before Alameda's ruling in 2017?

    Maybe they held off pending a decision by the USSC.

    It may also have to do with the verbiage of the original decision:

    The County of Alameda (1) requires firearm retailers to obtain a conditional use permit before selling firearms in the County and (2) prohibits firearm sales near residentially zoned districts, schools and day-care centers, other firearm retailers, and liquor stores.

  • DJK||

    I most recently purchased one early this year. It's two possibilities: 1) stayed pending exhaustion of appeals; or 2) old stores grandfathered in.

  • Steponsnek||

    Existing gun stores in the unincorporated county areas are effectively grandfathered, though any changes to ownership, etc. may subject that FFL to the ordinance. There is also a question of the County's practices in applying their ordinance. Since the case never went to discovery and trial, the question remains. Incorporated cities have different laws than the County.

  • DJK||

    Fascinating. I hadn't realized that Castro Valley, Livermore, etc. are unincorporated in Alameda County.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The NRA owns the Supreme court

  • Cynical Asshole||

    In theory, after the Supreme Court's Heller decision in 2008 constitution was ratified, the Second Amendment right to self-defense joined the pantheon of constitutional rights including the right to worship, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, and the right to speak freely ...

    FTFY

    Alas, the Bill of Rights is not self-enforcing; our judiciary is entrusted with upholding and defending it.

    Oh, right, I forgot. Rights aren't worth the parchment they were printed on if black robed jackasses don't want to defend them from over zealous legislators.

    Why doesn't CA just hurry up and secede already?

  • DJK||

    It's not entirely the courts' faults. You also have to blame a populace that is unwilling to elect legislators that respect rights.

  • Zeb||

    Yup. People want this shit.

    Another example of why rule of law isn't and never has been a real thing. A constitution is only as good as the people put in charge of implementing it.

  • DickW||

    > Why doesn't CA just hurry up and secede already?

    Working on it. I am waiting for Gov. Brown to become unemployed so we can draft him as our new president. I hope Feinstein will let us borrow her materials from assault rifle bans. Don't want any AR-15s in my state.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you're going to try and plead "original intent", you need to remember that Incorporation didn't happen until the very end of the 1800s. At the time Washington was president, the Bill of Rights didn't restrict what states could do, just what the federal government could do.

  • ||

    Too bad the judiciary is more concerned with protecting the "rights" of women to kill their babies or of gay men to ejaculate into other men than they are with protecting enumerated gun rights.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Robert Dear's new rightwing, girl-bullying, baby-warrior sockpuppet is the reason California women are lining up to slash at the Second Amendment. As long as mystical bigots bent on impressing their Invisible Undead Buddy and riding the Rapture to Heaven on a Host of Angels are identified as the entities displeased by Kristallnacht gun laws, gals will continue to vote to hurt what hurts them. The Prohibition Party and the Gee Oh Pee want men with guns to threaten pregnant women and doctors. Now you speak of rights and expect cooperation?

  • ||

    WTH are you talking about?

  • Zeb||

    You're better off not knowing.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hank babbles about how much he hates Christians, and how much he loves seeing babies murdered. He thinks this somehow makes him libertarian.

  • EscherEnigma||

    @Elias Fakaname
    ... for clarity, do you consider yourself a libertarian? Cause you kinda advocate mass-murder on a somewhat frequent basis.

  • DarrenM||

    Why would you thing he would know?

  • Bruce Hall||

    It would appear that the SC has agreed that cities may ban certain types of businesses within their jurisdictions, but they cannot prevent someone from dealing with businesses outside of their jurisdictions and then keeping and using the product where the selling is banned.

    In the case of selling guns, people are free to go one city or county or state over and purchase the guns and then return home with them. Banning the sale of products simply hurts the local economy.

  • LarryA||

    In the case of selling guns, people are free to go one city or county or state over and purchase the guns and then return home with them.

    Not quite. An FFL in one state can sell a gun to a resident of another state, but cannot transfer the gun to a resident of another state. (With the limited exception of a long gun, where the state of residence agrees, which California hasn't.)

    If I buy a handgun from an FFL licensed in any state but Texas, where I reside, that dealer must ship the firearm to an FFL in Texas, who can transfer it to me on a Federal Form 4473. (For a fee.)

    Buying a gun in another state and "returning home" with it will cost 10 years in a federal pen.

  • DJK||

    For those who care, Bay Area FFLs typically charge $100 minimum to take delivery of a firearm from another state, online dealer, etc.

  • ||

    Which dishonest federal judges in the 5th Circuit just upheld on the grounds that it's too burdensome for the government to determine who is entitled to own the gun where.

  • Tionico||

    You are correct in regards handguns... but NOTlong guns.. unless your state of residence is California (and a few others), I can; ahd have, legally purchased long guns from FFL's in other states, and walked out of the store with them as soon as they're cleared for sale and paid for. Handguns, no. Which stupid reul needs tob e changed, but WE all know that.

    NO resident of California can lawfully buy or sell a gun to or from a resident or dealer in another state without involving a California based FFL.

  • Sufi||

    "Banning the sale of products simply hurts the local economy."

    Perhaps it is a statement of principles wrt what the local economy is based on.

  • tlapp||

    Sounds like a huge win for Nevada gun stores.

  • DJK||

    Eh. As I've noted above, there are plenty of gun stores in Alameda county itself. And neighboring Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties. Why would a CA resident spend the money to drive or fly to Nevada in order to... what? Arrange to have a gun store there ship a gun to a gun store in CA, as would be required under federal regulations? This won't help Nevada gun stores at all.

  • DevilDog943||

    The requirement for Californians to transfer ALL firearms through a California FFL isn't a federal law, strictly from the People's Republic of California. The reasoning behind this is to ensure the forearm is registered with the state. Some years back, California registered handguns only, but expanded to include long guns, to ensure 'they' know who legally has guns.

    If one is willing to 'give the finger' to California law, you may go to any 'more free' state and purchase any legal long guns and transport them home to California. Of course, there are potential consequences to this.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Here as in 1973 when adding the Libertarian Platform plank to Roe v. Wade, La Suprema Corte looks at votes. The parties eager to violate the Second Amendment now--the same ones that wanted to prohibit the Strategic Defense Initiative in violation of the Second Amendment in the 1980s--drew even in the popular vote, but lost in the electoral college. Voters in two competing parties (LIB & GOP) have expressed a preference for keeping both electricity and guns legal and abundant, and aggregated 49.4% of the popular vote count. Electoral votes and spoiler votes are what drive jurisprudence.

  • BILKER||

    "Exactly so: the Second Amendment has been effectively repealed inside California. I suspect that California's millions of gun owners, who are subject to intrusive new registration requirements starting in July, are beginning to wonder: If federal judges routinely ignore the law, why can't I?"
    This is exactly what should happen in this state and any state that picks one right enumerated in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States over another. the rights are "gaurunteed" by the Bill of Rights. Californias' educational indoctrinators have determined that only statements that coincide with their opinions are permissible and all dissenting opinions are therefore not allowed and this is enforced by allowing the "students" to violently resist the dissenting persons.
    the ninth circuit court should be disbanded entirely.

  • Sufi||

    there are more crazy interpretations of the second amendment than the Bible. Your's is right up there with the craziest.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Or you could just go to Primo Tactical Gun Shop & Lingerie Boutique in Walnut Creek.

    Or you can take BART to Hayward.

  • John B. Egan||

    Not that I really care if every gun shop in California was put out of business.. people can do what they already do to avoid laws they don't like... Go visit hookers in Nevada, buy your Viagra from India, buy your cigarettes online to avoid high taxes, and buy your guns out of state or online.... Life is soooo tough.

    Anyway, this is just another red-meat article with no serious basis... California has plenty of gun stores: Licensed gun dealers outnumber McDonald's about 2-to-1 in California. So everyone can go to sleep secure in knowing they can still buy all the guns they'll ever need. #MAGA

    https://bit.ly/2I9EmZh

  • ||

    Stop lying. You can't buy guns out of state or online legally.

  • Bubba Jones||

    You have no idea how gun purchases work.

  • Myk||

    The 2nd Amendment only protects muzzleloaders (sic), that's why they have effectively regulated black powder out of existence for many with shipping and storage and insurance requirements. Yet there was no outcry about that.
    Same thing with PACT, it's not a ban, it just costs you $30 to have $5 of chewing tobacco or nasal snuff shipped to you.
    But you may not like guns so over-regulating them out of existence is OK. Or maybe you don't like tobacco so over-regulating it out of existence is OK. Eventually they will come for something you do like because regulators have to regulate to show how important it is that you keep voting for them.

  • ranrod||

    The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the state,
    is absolute. He does not derive it from the government. It is one of the
    high powers delegated directlyto the citizen, and 'is excepted out of the
    general powers of government.' A law cannot be passed to infringe upon
    or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the
    law-making power.

  • Sufi||

    no, the amendment says you are entitled to own gun because it is essential to the state's security to have a well regulated militia.

  • Tionico||

    and "militia", defined, is simply THE PEOPLE.. armed with their own arms, traine,d prepared, skilled, and available to assure "the security of a free state"

    And please note: the word "state" as used in that Second Article of Ammendment does NOT mean 'state, as in California, Nevada, Wisconsin. No, it means simply any group of people organised politically. It could mean conty city, neighbourhood, a valley or crossroads area, where the people work together as some form of civil society.

    Since "a free state: comprised "the people", and "the security of a free state" is the responsibility of the "people' forming it, the right to arms thus accrues to "the people". Learn the language of the time when this was written.

  • ranrod||

    The 2nd Amend is a RESTRICTIVE admendment. It states such in the Preamble to Bill of Rights. the 2A does not grant nor convey any right, but RESTRICTS and PROHIBITS the government from infringing upon this enumerated, pre-existing, God given right.

  • Sufi||

    I don't see the word god anywhere in the second amendment

  • Tionico||

    Its in the Declaration of Independence, which lays the foundation for the natioin and the Constitutioin that frames it.

  • mad_kalak||

    Where do your rights come from? It is generally the belief in the western world that rights are "natural," that is you are both with them along with your human dignity, and self-defense is the inherent right of all creatures. Thus the right to own a gun for self defense in inherent to your humaness. To whit, if God created the universe, which includes mankind, your right to own a gun is God given.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Where do your rights come from?
    From the barrel of a gun†.

    No other "source" for rights holds up to the reality that they are frequently stripped, granted, discovered, obfuscated, reinvented, redefined, and so-on.
    ________
    †Not necessarily literally, but "from the willingness and capacity to do violence for a cause" doesn't roll off the tongue as easily.

  • mad_kalak||

    Not going to disagree that the believe that rights are individual and natural wasn't the product of centuries of violent conflict.

  • Henry||

    'Alas, the Bill of Rights is not self-enforcing; our judiciary is entrusted with upholding and defending it."

    A stupid and self-defeating plan indeed, to expect our last-ditch guarantees against government oppression to be refereed in an unbiased fashion by government functionaries.

    Instead, perhaps we ought to be enforcing it ourselves, as it was originally designed.

  • mad_kalak||

    Anytime you have to make an appeal to the constitution as protecting a right, you've already half lost the cultural debate. From there it's only a matter of time until you lose the legal one.

  • ||

    Curious that the left uses contrary sides of the same argument for their pet issues.

    It's OK for an undocumented immigrant to BE in California because there's no law against simply being there, only against GETTING there (i.e., crossing the border illegally). So you're welcome to stay once you're in.

    By that logic it should be OK to HAVE a gun so long as you don't ACQUIRE it here. Do you think that's really what they intended to accomplish? My guess is no - the real effort to prevent having the ability even to HAVE a gun in California, since there is a panoply of other laws that prevent you from actually getting it here from anywhere else.

  • Tionico||

    Unless you are an illegal foreign invader who "finds" one on a pier in San Francisco.... then its just fine to use that gun you just "found" to kill some innocent bystander. You are right. HE did not get it into California. Some local law enforcement dude did.... and giot it stolen out of his car, which seems to have been unlocked.

    With government dudes like that, WHO NEEDS an FFL?

  • Rockabilly||

    Communists want a disarmed citizenry but the chicken shit commie rats will never get my gun.

    I would rather die than comply with your fucking communist fucking laws.

    So fuck you asshole communists.

  • dchang0||

    This is a business opportunity for the drug cartels. They will have no legal competition in Alameda county. Black market sales of firearms should be brisk.

  • Alan@.4||

    As to the closing question, "if federal judges routinely ignore the law, why can't I", that question is adequately but unhappily answered by the following facts. While you, the ordinary citizen are required to obey the law, judges, especially the federal variety can seemingly make it up as they go along, and or to suit their pet prejudices. I suspect that the following might unhappily become a matter of fact. Significant numbers of otherwise law abiding citizens will become disgusted with judicial double-talk to the extent that they, by their words or more importantly by their deeds will say to the judiciary, very well you people. You have, by decree, made law, having elected to walk all over the concept of constitutional rights. Now, get out of the office, and enforce your laws, your decrees, if you can.

  • Sufi||

    I'm really tired of the 2nd amendment battle cry of gun fanatics. Have any of these idiots actually read the second amendment? WTF does school shootings have to do with a well regulated Militia???

  • Tionico||

    what do school shootings in Florida have to do with Alameda Couty's prohibitioin of new gun stores inside their county?

    And if the concept of "militia" as known and intended by they who wrote that Article of Ammdnement had been in general use at the time and place of that shooting in Parkland FL, there were at least two adults who were in close enough proximity to the shooter that,, had they been armed as they WOULD HAVE BEEN if "militia" had been functioning as it did when that Ammendment was written.... the shooter would have been confronted with armed resistance within a few seconds and the death toll would have been a small fraction of that it is. But Florida law has undone true militia, and outlawed any armed militia members on school grounds. So those two adults had to get shot dead instead of seeing to the security of that school. A few weeks earlier a similar incident happened at a church in Texas.... that time it happened a member of the local militia had access to his own gun, and ended the massacre. With one round. Well placed. From his OWN gun. And that militiaman did not die in the incident. The killer did.

  • DesigNate||

    I see someone doesn't understand what an operative clause is.

    I mean seriously, why do dumb fuck mouth breathing gun-grabbing morons like you think that everyone else's right should be curtailed because of the actions of .00000000001% of gun owners? Is it because you're retarded? I bet it's cause you're retarded.

  • vek||

    I just don't get it... The court leans conservative, so why in gods name do you they keep skipping over these 2A cases??????????

    Also, this is bullshit. The Supreme Court shouldn't be able to just decline any case they want, for this very reason. I understand they could get flooded if they took EVERY case that people wanted to take to them... But there should be some limits or something.

    In theory every circuit court could make unconstitutional calls on something, like the 2A, and if they never took any of the cases it would stand nationally without recourse. That's BS. I don't know much about the procedurals here, but it seems like there should be a way for the DOJ or executive branch or something to require them to hear a case, because this is BS.

  • Flinch||

    Why require lunatics to hear any case? We have separation of powers so, if the constitution speaks the president can act and tell the courts to shove off. Wouldn't be the first time in our history, and anyway... without the executive to act on their warrants and arrest/jail people, our courts are just people who hold meetings and write papers.

  • vek||

    Technically true... But I would prefer if things remained a little more civil... But we may well be past that point in our history.

  • WJack||

    More Trump appointments to the Supreme Court are the last best hope.

  • Flinch||

    So, in Alameda they write a regulation that simply waits for a poison pill to show up? The zoning board can [with "outside" assistance], place a bar, school or whatever breaks the terms for the gun shop and next thing you know... their business licence cannot be renewed? Fascism in disguise.
    But something clearer is emerging: we need an amendment defining a right to self defense. Our second has afforded a good umbrella for some time, but the people were always at the mercy of the state on account of... it really only secures the ability of any sitting governor to call out a militia and everything else is negotiable. I guess for Alameda, their militia [if summoned] would be armed with an iphone and some sunscreen. Defeat has already been secured for these subjects, and I expect MS13 is loving it. How about a little help, mr & mrs America? It's time for a Right to Self Defense.

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    "the county changed its policy "

    Putting aside the second amendment, how does the court ignore such a blatant abuse of governmental power with their arbitrary and capricious policy change?

  • TryingToSeeThe||

    This article actually seems to imply that they didn't change anything. They say first that "The location must be 500 feet away from any residentially zoned area" then say that it was changed to "require a distance of 500 feet from the store to the nearest area that was zoned for residential use". That's the same exact thing!

    Unless the rules were originally different and the article only mentions the current rule, which seems pretty misleading to me...

  • mad_kalak||

    Does anybody know how many gun stores there are in Alameda County?

    On a side note, even after McDonald in 2010 and several other cases about gun ranges in the city where the city lost and hand to pay the NRA and other activists' court fees, there are still no gun stores in the city limits of Chicago. Even if you win the cases, it has a deterrent effect.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Upthread DJK cites a few and states that he has personally bought from gun stores in the county. From ATF data, there is at least one licensed firearms dealer in the city of Alemada within the county of Alameda.

    So I don't know how many there are, but the answer appears to be "several".

  • mad_kalak||

    Thanks, missed that.

  • Steponsnek||

    DJK missed the fact that the case was about *unincorporated* Alameda County.

  • mad_kalak||

    Ah, because the various municipalities decide their own zoning rules. Got it.

  • vek||

    They all left Seattle after the commies here passed a prohibitive tax. I love that one of the big store owners, who I had met before, straight up told the city "If you pass this I will leave my current location and you won't get a dime." and then did exactly that. Just moved outside city (and county IIRC) limits. Problem is for the proggies here that is almost a win to them as well... But at least they aren't getting any tax money out of that BS law.

  • TxJack 112||

    Banning stores in a city is not banning them statewide. Someone will sell guns in California even if some person opens a store in the middle of the Mohave desert. Gun control should be a state issue. If the people of California want to ban guns and live at the mercy of criminals, let their dumb asses do it. My objection is when Democrats start pushing for national laws that impose this stupidity on all of us. The people of California have elected the idiots who have passed these laws, so let them live with the consequences.

  • ||

    If guns should be a state issue, then it should be a state issue if Texas wants to prohibit liberal women from killing their babies or gay men from busting inside other men.

  • ||

    Gun control should be a state issue.

    More than 200 yrs. have shown that this is insufficient. "It's a state issue." is easy and seems great to will into existence from 30K feet, but what does that mean practically for things like reciprocity, accessories, and private transfers?

    If a Texan wanders into California with a gun that's legal in TX but not in CA, does he have to leave his gun at the border? Can he be deprived of that gun for that purpose? What if it's just a silencer, >30 round magazine, a bump stock, or a 80% lower receiver rather than an actual weapon? We aren't there yet, but at a certain point, you're talking about CA (or TX or other) creating erecting a fascist or totalitarian construct under the flag of democracy (and given vehicle emissions regulations, prop. 65, etc. exporting it).

  • EscherEnigma||

    If a city enacted zoning laws that effectively outlawed abortion clinics, and a federal appeals court had permitted it, the Supreme Court would have stepped in a heartbeat later.


    In 2011, Texas has 62 abortion providing facilities, in 2014 they had 44. That's the sort of small over-all numbers and sharp declines that has the SCOTUS extremely skeptical.

    From the ATF's tracking of licenses, there were (as of December 2017) 3037 licensed firearms dealers in California. That's up from 2315 that Politifact found in 2016†. And yeah, one of those licenses is in Alameda. I'd rattle off how many are close-by, but it's the San Francisco metro area and I just don't know all the city names that make up that place.

    So I understand why y'all are trying to make that comparison. But you're overstating your case. California's gun-store regulations aren't having nearly the impact, long or short term, as the kind of anti-abortion laws that the SCTOUS keeps striking down. When/if they do, the complain might be valid. But that's not today, and probably not tomorrow either.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Note, when I stated "one of those licenses is in Alameda", I meant the city, not the county. There are more dealers in the county then just the one in the city.

  • Barry Gold||

    I have to admit I don't understand what goes on at the Supreme Court. Five Justices are at least nominally conservative. In our current context, that usually means anti-abortion and pro-firearms. So why can they not get the four votes needed to hear the case?

    And McCullagh makes a good point in comparing Second Amendment rights with other rights recognized by the court.

    Freedom of the press means that states and cities cannot "regulate" porn stores out of existence.

    The right to an abortion means that states cannot "regulate" abortion clinics out of existence.

    And yet, the RKBA somehow does not prevent states and cities from regulating gun stores out of existence.

    Maybe it's a question of WHO has the right in question, and whether that right can be satisfied solo.

    Freedom of the press belongs to the press. That is, to anybody who publishes something, whether by printing a million copies of a book or newspaper, or by printing 20 copies on their laser printer, or simply by putting it up in a blog. So an "adult" bookstore has a right, which cities and states cannot take away.

    But the RKBA is a right of the person who _owns_ a firearm. So maybe the court reasoned that you can "keep" (own and possess) and "bear" (carry around) arms, but that doesn't guarantee you can buy one.

    (to be continued)

  • Barry Gold||

    (continued)

    Okay... but if that's the case, why the rulings about abortion clinics? Is it because you can "keep" a gun that you already happen to have, but there is no way to obtain an abortion _except_ by going to an OB/GYN?

    Or does it maybe have to do with distance? Let's face it: Alameda county is only 821 sq. mi. roughly 30 miles across. A 20 minute drive or a short BART ride will take you to another county. Also, I'm from California, and county ordinances of this sort usually apply only to the unincorporated parts of the county. Individual cities can write their own ordinances, of course, but most county ordinances will not apply inside incorporated cities.

    The vaguely-similar anti-abortion laws that have been overturned were mostly at the state level, where you would have to travel hundreds of miles to find a legal abortion clinic, either in the same state or in an adjacent state. Texas is a particularly noxious example, being nearly 270,000 sq. mi., roughly 500 miles across. Texas's law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as full surgical centers and have a doctor who "has privileges" at a nearby hospital mean that such clinics exist only in the 3 or 4 largest cities, and that large areas of rural TX have none at all.

    Of course, trying to guess why the SUpreme Court ruled as it did when all you have is "sorry, we're not hearing this case" is a lot like reading tea leaves.

    Bottom line: I have no conclusions, only questions.

  • Gene Ralno||

    We've seen a gradual change over the past year. Increasing numbers of criminals, illegal aliens, refugees, terrorists and nuts will migrate to California. And as increasing numbers of peaceable, lawful citizens leave for safer and more prosperous states, we'll see a sharp change in political composition. Moonbeam soon will languish in his lavish retirement and Newsom will face the change. It won't be pretty. Commerce lost by California will be won elsewhere and won't return for many years. Violent crime will rise. Illegal alien and refugee support costs will rise. Terrorism will rise. Nuts will stay. Hopefully, leftists will see their ideology doesn't work.

  • TryingToSeeThe||

    I'm a little confused by this article: can anyone explain to me how if "The location must be 500 feet away from any residentially zoned area", they thought it would be OK if they were "over 500 feet from the store to the front door of the nearest home"? I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure the front door of a home is not where a residential zone would start. Sure, you can say this should have been caught by the zoning board before approval, but it doesn't mean that because the board made an error it can't correct its mistake and deny them the application.

  • texexpatriate||

    Anyone so dense as to still live in California gets what he or she deserves. Too bad. There still are some fine people who live out there.

    California is a perfect example of the failure of federalism. Federalism was meant to be a type of national government that provided services for the nation that the states could not provide themselves, or that affected all the states in a negative way. Since uninhibited immigration has a negative effect on all the states, immigration policy would be one of those services the national government should and would provide, and states should adhere to immigration law. In another example, if California politicians desire to promote homosexuality and all kinds of other perversions for its citizens, or to tax businesses out of business and workers into poverty, that would have no effect on other states and is the business only of Californians.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    I've been reading those tea-leaves since the Roberti-Roos Act, that placed a footer under CA's gun-prohibition scheme, and my gun-shop has been banned......to Nevada, where I now reside quite happily.

  • PBinLostAngeles||

    Shows the priorities remain in the shitter. If they REALLY wanted to clamp down on violent crime, they'd start with reinstating the 18th Amendment....

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