San Carlos, CA (December 23, 2011) – The Calguns Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against the California Department of Justice and Attorney General Kamala Harris challenging the policy of requiring gun owners to wait at least 10 days before taking possession of an additional firearm. The case is entitled Jeff Silvester et. al. vs. Kamala Harris, et. al.
The Calguns Foundation is joined in the lawsuit, filed today at the District of California Federal District Court in Fresno, by the Second Amendment Foundation and three individual plaintiffs.
“The State has absolutely no reason to infringe the rights of California gun owners who already possess firearms when they buy another one,” said Jason Davis who is the attorney for the plaintiffs. California currently requires the registration of handguns in California. And, beginning January 2014, it will also require the registration of all newly-purchased rifles and shotguns. Notably, California keeps a current database of all residents who are prohibited by state or federal law from owning or possessing firearms.
Individual plaintiffs Jeff Silvester, Michael Poeschl, and Brandon Combs each have firearms registered with the State of California. Mr. Combs and Mr. Silvester also have firearms licenses from the State that constitute ongoing background checks.
“In just about every other state in the U.S., I as a law-abiding gun owner could walk in and, after passing an instant national background check, walk out with a firearm to defend myself in my home,” said Michael Poeschl. “What’s really frustrating is that California is one of the very few states that forces gun owners to register all handguns that they buy. If the State’s database saying that I already lawfully own a gun isn’t proof that I don’t need a ‘cooling-off’ period, then what is?”
“I have a license to carry a loaded firearm across the State,” noted Jeff Silvester. “It is ridiculous that I have to wait another 10 days to pick up a new firearm when I’m standing there in the gun store lawfully carrying one the whole time.”
“As a collector, I submitted to a Live Scan background check and obtained a Certificate of Eligibility to Possess Firearms from the State of California at my own expense,” said Brandon Combs. “In the Internet era, where every California gun dealer has a computer connected directly to the State’s databases, there is no logical reason to force me to wait 10 days and make another trip simply because California doesn’t want to acknowledge the Certificate that it issued to me. I have registered guns, and I have the State telling me that I can possess guns, but for some reason I can’t exercise my constitutionally protected rights for another ten days? That’s insane.”
“Laws that infringe on the right to purchase arms have to be more than just merely rational and must directly serve important governmental interests,” added Hoffman. “Here, the law is not just irrational but actually contradictory. We filed this case right before Christmas in the hopes that, by next Christmas, gun owners will not suffer this continuing infringement on their right to acquire firearms.”
A copy of the complaint and case filings can be viewed at http://ia600803.us.archive.org/13/items/gov.uscourts.caed.233362/gov.uscourts.caed.233362.docket.html.
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members by providing Second Amendment-related education, strategic litigation and the defense of innocent California gun owners from improper or malicious prosecution. The Calguns Foundation seeks to inform government and protect the rights of individuals to acquire, own, and lawfully use firearms in California.