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August 25, 2014

Federal Court Invalidates California's Ten-Day Gun Waiting Period as Unconstitutional For Those Who Already Own Weapons

From @gabrielmalor, big news in 2nd Amendment jurisprudence.


The plaintiffs brought the case against the state of California claiming that the 10-day waiting period burdened the right to bear arms without accomplishing any important state goal in the case of people who already owned guns.

The court generally found that there wasn't any evidence that the "cooling off" period was actually helpful in cooling people off, and that it made no sense to "cool off" a gun purchase by someone who already owns a gun. They also found that the government had not proven that the 10-day waiting period was necessary to conduct "straw purchaser" investigations.

"After considering the evidence and the arguments, the Court concludes that Penal Code 26815(a) and 27540(a)'s 10-day waiting periods impermissibly violate the Second Amendment as applied to those persons who already lawfully possess a firearm as confirmed by the AFS [Automated Firearms System], to those who possess a valid CCW [Carry Concealed Weapon] license, and to those who possess both a valid COE [Certificate of Eligibility] and a firearm as confirmed by the AFS system, if the background check on these individuals is completed and approved prior to the expiration of 10 days.

The actual opinion is here, but it's very long, and consists of answering numerous different arguments, answering them all in much the same way.

I think the court declined to determine if intermediate scrutiny or strict scrutiny applied here (strict scrutiny being stricter on the government, requiring them to prove the most limited means available to achieve compelling state interest, intermediate scrutiny only requiring a "reasonable fit" for an important interest). The court seems to have applied only the intermediate scrutiny standard, but decided the 10-day waiting period was unconstitutional (as regards those who already lawfully own weapons) even under that looser standard.



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posted by Ace at 06:01 PM

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