Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments In NRA And CRPA Lawsuit Challenging California’s Unconstitutional California’s Use Of DROs Fee Surplus
On Wednesday, April 19, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the NRA and CRPA supported lawsuit, Bauer v. Becerra (formerly known as Bauer v. Harris). Filed in 2011, Bauer challenges California’s unconstitutional use of millions of dollars it has collected through overcharging law-abiding gun purchasers $19 for the cost the California Department of Justice incurs to conduct a background check for a firearm transaction (known as the Dealers Record of Sale or “DROS” fee).
The DROS fee was originally intended to fund the cost the California Department of Justice incurs when conducting background checks on prospective law-abiding firearm purchasers. State law limits the amount of the DROS fee to be no more than necessary to offset those costs. Over the years, technological advancements have dramatically reduced the Department’s costs in conducting these checks. Despite this, the $19 DROS fee was never reduced—generating a surplus of over $35 million dollars!
Instead of lowering the DROS fee or giving law-abiding gun owners their money back, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 819 (“SB 819”), authorizing the Department to use the surplus for funding the questionable and ineffective general law enforcement program devoted exclusively to ferreting out and confiscating guns from those who criminally possess them, the Armed Prohibited Person System (“APPS”) program.
Bauer challenges California’s morally bankrupt use of the surplus because, by forcing law-abiding gun purchasers to shoulder the costs of the APPS—a program unrelated to the costs the Department incurs to conduct background checks of law-abiding firearm purchases—it imposes a tax on the exercise of the Second Amendment right, unlawfully creating a source of revenue.
Lead plaintiff in the case is Barry Bauer, owner of Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in Fresno California. The National Rifle Association, as well as the California Rifle & Pistol Foundation, are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Soon, a number of NRA/CRPA sponsored lawsuits will be filed challenging the unconstitutional “gunmageddon” laws passed last year, as well as the new laws enacted by Proposition 63—which was overwhelming opposed by law enforcement.
As NRA and CRPA continue our legal efforts in the courts and our political efforts at every level of government, we need all California gun owners standing with us. We cannot be successful without your help.
By donating today to the CRPA Foundation, and volunteering to help the fight at firstname.lastname@example.org, you can help undo “gunmageddon” and the anti-gun Proposition 63, and begin the process of restoring firearms freedoms and the right to choose to own a firearms to defend yourself and your family in California!