We know that many are anxiously awaiting a ruling from the federal district court in the CRPA’s Junior Sports Magazine v. Bonta case. This is the case challenging the state law prohibiting the marketing of firearms and firearm relate products or events where firearms may be used to anyone under 18 years old in California. This law was enacted under an emergency provision and took effect on July 1, 2022. The law has caused confusion and harm to many who work with youth in shooting sports and hunting education programs.
As soon as the law was signed by Governor Newsom, CRPA, GOC, and SAF with individual plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in federal court, and then shortly thereafter they filed a Motion of Preliminary Injunction and an Ex Parte Application to Shorten Time to stop the law from taking effect. The hearing was scheduled for Monday, August 22nd and we expected a ruling on the injunction from the court that day.
Late Friday afternoon, before the Monday hearing, however, the state asked to postpone the hearing because they are considering some amendments and revisions to the law. We opposed the request to postpone the hearing because (1) there is no guarantee when or if additional language will be adopted by the legislature, and (2) because the proposed language absolutely does NOT solve the constitutional and practical problems that this law creates for most junior shooting programs.
CRPA’s legal team immediately asked the court to not postpone the hearing and to rule in our favor on the injunction against the law as currently written. Any amendments to the law can be fought in court, if and when the new law passes. Unfortunately, the state will stop at nothing to try to keep this law from being challenged and the judge postponed the hearing on the injunction request anyway and set a status conference for September 12th so the court can consider any revisions to the law at that time.
We know you can’t wait that long! Our legal team is taking steps in the court of appeal to have the injunction request decided sooner. Individuals and organizations are experiencing constitutional harms right now! So, our lawyers are filing a Petition for Writ of Mandamus directing the trial court to rule on the pending motion for preliminary injunction as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, clubs, organizations, groups, teams, and youth shooters are still subject to the current law and will be subject to the revised law if/when it passes. The revisions to the law were not drafted by a coalition of stakeholders, but by certain groups who lobbied the Governor’s staff to protect their specific special interests. The revisions to the law, if actually enacted, would only “help” that small group of gun owners. The amendments do NOT solve all the problems that the law creates for junior shooting and hunter education programs. And the amended law as proposed is still unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment.
As the court battle goes on, we will keep you updated with the latest information as it becomes available. Watch for a separate Information Bulletin from CRPA in the next couple days that will explain exactly what the revised law would and would not do. These are the types of games the state plays whenever we challenge their unconstitutional laws. These types of delays are not unheard of, but we know how much this law is impacting many in the 2A community. If you have not joined the fight yet, please consider joining the CRPA and donating specifically to this legal action at the link below.