At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency, the County of Ventura issued a series of order starting on March 17, 2020, which, amongst other things, prohibited the purchase, sale, and transfer of all firearms and ammunition by its residents when it forcibly closed all licensed firearms retailers and shooting ranges within the county as “non-essential” businesses. What’s more, the County also sought to prohibit the travel of county residents to neighboring counties to purchase firearms and ammunition as such travel was likewise alleged by the County to be “non-essential.” At the very time the rights of the people to defend themselves was most critical – during an emergency – Ventura County and the associated Defendants sought to categorically disenfranchise their residents by preventing access to arms and ammunition.
On April 14, 2020, the Second Amendment Foundation joined a previously existing lawsuit, along with two individuals and two other civil rights organizations. The suit alleges that Ventura County and its officials violated Plaintiff’s Second Amendment rights by categorically prohibiting the purchase, sale, and transfer of firearms through their COVID orders which shuttered all licensed gun dealers as “non-essential” businesses. Inherent to the right to “keep” and “bear” arms is the right to first acquire them. The lawsuit asked the court to declare the County’s emergency orders to have violated the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and to enjoin Defendants from their ongoing enforcement of those, or similar future orders.
Case Team: Raymond DiGuiseppe, Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy
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.