BELLEVUE, WA – A federal judge in California has issued an order granting a preliminary injunction against enforcement of sections of the state’s “Unsafe Handgun Act” (UHA), while denying a preliminary injunction request against other sections of the law, in a Second Amendment Foundation case.
However, Chief Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California also stayed the ruling pending appeal or further hearing on the matter, whichever occurs first. A telephone conference is scheduled April 14 “at which time the parties shall advise the Court how they wish to proceed.”
SAF is joined in the case by North County Shooting Center, Gunfighter Tactical, the Firearms Policy Coalition, San Diego County Gun Owners, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and several private citizens, including Lana Rae Renna, for whom the case is named. They are represented by attorneys Raymond DiGuiseppe of Southport, N.C., Michael Sousa of San Diego, Calif., and William Sack of Havertown, Pa.
The case, originally filed in late 2020, challenges the requirements of California’s UHA, which includes a codified “roster” of acceptable handguns. The roster limits handgun sales to those models that satisfy numerous testing and safety feature requirements, such as a “chamber loaded indicator” (CLI) and “magazine disconnect mechanism” (MDM) and microstamping, which plaintiffs say are not required in 47 other states. The requirements have essentially prevented the sale of modern up-to-date handguns, as no new models have been added to the roster’s approved list for more than a decade. Meanwhile, the limited number of handguns now on the list continues to shrink because of the testing and safety feature requirements.
Judge Sabraw notes in his 30-page ruling that “Plaintiffs have shown likely success on their claim that the UHA’s CLI, MDM and microstamping requirements violate their Second Amendment rights.”
“Today’s decision marks yet another victory for California gun owners and Californians who wish to purchase modern handguns,” said SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “Importantly, the Court determined that California failed to present historically comparable analogues to its requirement that handguns be equipped with loaded chamber indicators, magazine disconnect safeties, and have the ability to imprint a microstamp on fired casings. It is long overdue for California’s restriction on the ability of its citizens to purchase modern handguns meet its fate of being relegated to the pages of history.”
“We’re delighted with the ruling, and we expect a satisfactory resolution from the April 14 telephone conference,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California’s handgun roster requirements were deliberately designed to frustrate the sale of modern handguns in the state and make it virtually impossible for Golden State residents to fully exercise their rights under the Second Amendment, which was incorporated to the states by the 2010 Supreme Court’s McDonald ruling.