BELLEVUE, WA – A federal judge in California has granted summary judgment to three individuals in a lawsuit challenging that state’s Penal Code which permanently denies Second Amendment rights to people who have had felony convictions vacated, set aside or dismissed, and their rights to possess firearms fully restored. The case is known as Linton v. Bonta.

U.S. District Judge James Donato in the Northern District of California wrote, “After multiple hearings and several rounds of briefing, and in light of the guidance provided by New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen…the Court concludes that California has violated the Second Amendment rights of the individual plaintiffs. Consequently, summary judgment is granted in favor of (Chad) Linton, (Paul McKinley) Stewart, and (Kendall) Jones on their as applied Second Amendment claim.”

The case was originally filed in December 2018. They are represented by attorney George Lee of Seiler Epstein, LLP in San Francisco. The challenge was originally brought by SAF, the Calguns Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation and the three individuals. In his opinion, Judge Donato dismissed all the institutional plaintiffs. SAF continues to support the case.

According to SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, “The three individual plaintiffs were all convicted of non-violent felonies in other states decades ago. None of the convictions involved a weapon, drugs, or violence, in the ordinary meaning of the word. Each of the plaintiffs had their conviction vacated, set aside, or dismissed, and their right to possess firearms restored by the jurisdiction in which they were convicted. Linton legally acquired firearms in California on prior occasions, and Jones was a career law enforcement officer in California with special training and certification as a firearms instructor. Even so, California acted to permanently deny them of the right to possess or own firearms, solely on the basis of their original convictions.”

“This is a huge victory,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “It could amount to a first major step to create an avenue for other people with similar circumstances to return to lives of full citizenship. We’re delighted with Judge Donato’s ruling. This is just one more example of our mission to win firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time.”