June 7, 2023

CRPA’s Boland v. Bonta case has achieved tremendous success in striking down provisions of California’s misnamed “Unsafe Handgun Act.” (UHA) This law created the loathed “roster” of handguns approved for sale in California that has prevented Californians from being able to purchase thousands of the latest and safest semiautomatic handguns commonly available in all other states.

On Friday, supporters of CRPA’s lawsuit filed amicus briefs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. The briefs are impressive, and the groups filing these briefs include most of California’s law enforcement groups, national police groups, state associations, national associations, and even BioFire, the company now offering a “smart gun” in some markets. Most significantly, a brief supporting CRPA was filed by TWENTY-FOUR STATES that respect the Second Amendment!

Since 2013, the UHA has prevented pistol manufacturers from fully accessing the California handgun market – one of the biggest in the nation. If CRPA can hold on to its victory on appeal, manufacturers and retailers will once again be able to sell to the California market the most technically advanced firearms being made, and purchasers will be able to buy the pistols that are most appropriate for their individual circumstances. Considering that more permits to carry a firearm are now being issued in California than ever before (thanks to the Bruen ruling), there is a tremendous demand for these latest models.

On March 20, 2023, a federal judge in Orange County (Judge Cormac Carney) granted the CRPA’s motion to preliminarily enjoin the UHA’s three most troublesome requirements. Those require semiautomatic pistols to have 1) a chamber load indicator (CLI), 2) a magazine disconnect mechanism (MDM), and 3) microstamping.

When Judge Carney ordered the preliminary injunction, he entered a 14-day “stay” on his Order. This temporarily stopped the injunction from taking effect so that the State had time to seek a longer stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal while the case was appealed.

In an interesting twist, the State’s motion in the Ninth Circuit to extend the stay did not seek to stop the injunction against one of the requirements—the microstamping requirement. The State only asked for the Ninth Circuit to extend the stay as to the CLI and MDM provisions. So, 14 days later, on April 3, 2023, microstamping was enjoined and is no longer a requirement to get a pistol on the roster of handguns that can be sold in California. That was a step in the right direction since CRPA and amici have all argued that UHA with these requirements is not a reasonable public safety law—It’s a disguised handgun ban.

The State of California has now appealed the district court order granting the injunction that CRPA was granted. The briefing will be complete as of early June 2023, and the Ninth Circuit has announced that it will hold oral arguments likely toward the end of the Summer of 2023.

Friend of the Court “amicus briefs” were filed Friday, and what a great lineup of support for CRPA they showed!

Amicus Brief of Twenty-four States The Attorney Generals in this brief opine that the Second Amendment is a right belonging to the people and restrictive to the state and that the UHA is not a reasonable public safety law—It is a disguised handgun ban.

Amicus Brief of Law Enforcement OrganizationsThis brief relays the notion that access to modern handguns is presumptively protected under the Second Amendment

Amicus Brief of Law Enforcement and Firearms Rights GroupsThis brief outlines how the UHA ban of all recent semiauto pistols is unconstitutional under the “common use” tests of Heller and Bruen and that the outlier laws are not historical analogues to the UHA’s ban.

Amicus Brief of National Shooting Sports Foundation –  NSSF discusses unproven concepts and technology that is not feasible for manufacturers of firearms and the fact that requiring these elements creates a gradual handgun ban in California.

Amicus Brief of Gun Owners of America & Others Brief focuses on the UHA in the context of all of California’s anti-gun agenda and policies.

Amicus Letter to the Court from BioFire – BioFire brief focuses on the fact that the UHA disincentivizes innovation in firearm safety by mandating arbitrary technology choices and by requiring that advances in technology come at the expense of the gun owners’ rights to choose.

While the appeals are pending in the Ninth Circuit, the Boland plaintiffs are still hard at work in the trial court. They will soon file a Motion for Summary Judgment and ask the district court to enjoin the entire Unsafe Handgun Act. CRPA sought this relief in our Complaint, but narrowed the relief sought in this upcoming filing.

Motions for Summary Judgment require extensive and laborious brief drafting, paying expert witnesses, oral argument preparation, and likely appeal, but they also could come with great reward and an expedited timetable.

CRPA requests that those who might benefit from striking down the UHA support our efforts by DONATING Today. Help us push this case forward and tell California politicians that unconstitutional laws will not be tolerated.