A federal judge this week sided with the Second Amendment Foundation, Calguns Foundation and three individual plaintiffs and denied a motion by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to dismiss a challenge to California’s ten-day waiting period in the case of Silvester v. Harris.
Senior Judge Anthony Ishii of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California noted in his 11- page order that, “Although Harris argues that the WPL (Waiting Period Law) is a minor burden on the Second Amendment, Plaintiffs are correct that this is a tacit acknowledgment that a protected Second Amendment right is burdened. Therefore, the Court concludes that the WPL burdens the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb was delighted with the victory and noted that Judge Ishii said some “very important things” in his order.
“Judge Ishii’s comparison of the waiting period to a prior restraint is significant,” Gottlieb observed. “He further stated that Harris, in her motion to dismiss the case, had not shown that the waiting period law is effective in reducing gun-related violent crime, or in keeping guns out of the wrong hands where the government has already issued that purchaser a License To Carry or a Certificate Of Eligibility.”
Calguns Chairman Gene Hoffman said it is “refreshing to see lower Federal courts taking the burden of intermediate scrutiny or strict scrutiny seriously.”
“California has such a byzantine scheme of gun control that it can’t justify making people who already own firearms registered with the State of California wait 10 days to buy a new gun after they complete a background check,” Hoffman said. “We look forward to bringing some common sense back to how the law abiding buy and sell registered guns in California.”
Judge Ishii also noted, “…there is a period of at least 10 days in which California prohibits every person from exercising the right to keep and bear a firearm. There can be no question that actual possession of a firearm is a necessary prerequisite to exercising the right to keep and bear arms. Further, there has been no showing that the Second Amendment, as historically understood, did not apply for a period of time between the purchase/attempted purchase of a firearm and possession of the firearm…”
“Judge Ishii has wisely reminded us, as did the late Dr. Martin Luther King, that a right delayed is a right denied,” Gottlieb concluded. “We are hopeful that the court builds on his sound reasoning to issue a favorable ruling in our case.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.