A Win for the Second Amendment in California

posted on February 28, 2024
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Eric Chan courtesy Flickr

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected California’s request to reconsider a case that challenged the Golden State’s overreach when it comes to banning the promotion of youth programs in advertising.

“Judges Lee and VanDyke voted to deny the petition for rehearing en banc. Judge Smith recommended denying the petition for rehearing en banc. The full court has been advised of the petition for rehearing en banc and no judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en ban. The petition for rehearing en banc is DENIED,” read the decision.

The law at hand arose after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB 2571 in June 2022, and the NRA filed suit shortly thereafter. The bill “as originally drafted was so overbroad that it effectively banned advertising youth-hunter-education programs. The NRA’s lawsuit pointed that out, and the state promptly amended the statute so that it only bans advertisements of firearms products ‘in a manner that … reasonably appears to be attractive to minors.’ But that didn’t fix the law’s overbreadth problem. It still banned advertisements featuring a parent hunting or shooting with their minor child,” reported the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA).

As Michael Jean, director of the Office of Litigation for NRA-ILA explained at the time the law was initially challenged, “The real problem that AB 2571 poses is that its broad scope and vaguely defined terms are designed to prevent the next generation from participating in hunting and the shooting sports. It outlaws content concerning the ‘use’ of a firearm or firearm accessory that a minor may find attractive.”

In January 2023, a district court judge rejected a request for a preliminary injunction that sought to suspend enforcement of the law while the NRA’s case challenging it made its way through the legal process.  This decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit.  A request to hear this appeal on the same day a similar case was to be appealed was granted, which then led to a three-judge panel for the Ninth ruling in October 2023 that California’s ban on advertising firearms products “in a manner that … reasonably appears to be attractive to minors” likely violates the First Amendment. Further, it ruled that the district court erred in denying a request for a preliminary injunction.

“The court found that it was obvious that California’s advertising ban was unconstitutional. But California couldn’t accept the obvious. It asked for the case to be reheard en banc, by an 11-judge panel,” reported NRA-ILA.

Now, unless the state of California wants to try its luck with the U.S. Supreme Court, the case will be remanded to the district court to enter the preliminary injunction. After that, the case will be argued on its merits at the district court level.

We’ll keep you up to date on any and all challenges to your Second Amendment rights.



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