California law criminalizes the advertising, marketing, or placement of an ad or marketing communication for any firearm-related product in a manner that is designed, intended, or reasonably appears to be attractive to minors by any firearm industry member. In doing so, California imposes a content- and speaker-based restriction on protected speech that is viewpoint discriminatory, that serves no legitimate government interest (directly or indirectly), and that is both facially overbroad and far more extensive than necessary to achieve any purported interest, violating Plaintiffs’ free speech and commercial speech rights.
The law covers conduct to include instances where Plaintiffs plan, advertise, market, promote, sponsor, host, and/or facilitate lawful events, competitions, trainings, educational programs, safety courses, and/or gun shows, specifically for youth or where youth are extremely likely to be in attendance and where youth lawfully use, handle, observe, and/or otherwise possess firearms, ammunition, and/or firearm parts. The distribution of printed and electronic communications promoting these events and programs are also encompassed within the law’s reach. As such, all of the Plaintiffs curtailed their prior activities to ensure they would not run afoul of the law.
On July 8, 2022, the Second Amendment Foundation filed suit, along with five other civil rights organizations, a publisher of a magazine, and one individual. The lawsuit asks a federal court to declare that the California law violates Plaintiffs’ First Amendment Rights and enjoin the Defendants from enforcing the ban on speech.
Case Team: Donald Kilmer
To access all of the case documents at the District Court, please visit the docket.
To view documents filed on appeal, please visit the Court of Appeals docket.