Legal Challenge Converges First And Second Amendments

posted on July 22, 2015

The Tracy Rifle and Pistol shop in Tracy, Calif., features large vinyl decals of an AR-15 rifle and a .45-caliber in its windows. That’s not surprising by itself. What is surprising is that one of those images is considered illegal, thanks to a 92-year-old state law that prohibits gun stores from advertising handguns. 

When owner Michael Baryla was issued a citation and ordered to remove the photos, he responded by filing a lawsuit against Attorney General Kamala Harris. “What the attorney general is really saying, without expressly saying it, is that the right to free speech is OK except when it’s about guns, because guns are bad,” said Bradley Benbrook, Baryla’s attorney.

While the case winds its way through the legal system, Baryla promises creative solutions if forced to remove the images. Meanwhile, it’s likely that California legislators will continue to enforce antiquated laws that restrict First and Second Amendment rights.  

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