Court Hearing to Consider Status of Youth Marketing Law
Several months ago, CRPA alerted our members to a disturbing piece of legislation that was working its way through the state legislature. AB 2571 essentially put an end to youth shooting sports in California by preventing anyone from speaking to a person under 18 years of age about anything having to do with the Second Amendment, hunting, competitive shooting, or any firearms-related product. CRPA fought this battle in Sacramento, but with a Governor promising to sign every single gun control bill that makes it to his desk, it was a difficult challenge.
As soon as the bill was passed and signed, under emergency orders, by the Governor, CRPA joined with Gun Owners of California (GOC) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) to fight this law in the courts. We understood the damage that a law like this would do to youth competitive shooting and to the next generation of gun owners in the state. Almost immediately after the CRPA lawsuit was filed, the Governor’s office started backpedaling and stating that they did not intend for the new law to shut down youth shooting in California—this is not what the legislative record shows in that they had conversations about this and decided to leave the bill language as is while giving exemptions to movie and video game companies.
New language was developed within one month of the bill becoming law and added to an end of the year budget bill AB 160. This bill language that was supposed to be a “fix all” for AB 2571 is wrought with vagueness and caused more confusion for many groups. The new language has many problems that were identified by CRPA based on what type of groups you happen to be.
Just this morning, in the Central District of California, there was a hearing to address the pending Motion for Preliminary Injunction in which CRPA and plaintiffs were asking the court to stop the implementation of AB 2571 and the AB 160 amended language. Unfortunately, with the additional language in the AB 160 amendments, the court did not agree that there is a reason for the issuance of an injunction in this case. In a 50-page tentative ruling, the court outlined an argument that gun violence is rampant (without giving specific instances in California) and that the government may have substantial interest in protecting the public from gun violence even if that violates the free speech of some. Remember though the hearing today was not on the merits of the case, it was just about whether the preliminary injunction should be granted. Defendants now have 30 days from the date that the Court issues the official ruling on the injunction to respond to CRPA’s complaint. CRPA will be updating this matter as more information is available.
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