Richards v. Newsom

Richards v. Newsom

United States District Court for the Central District of California

Filed: December 19, 2023

Status: Active

Beginning January 1, 2024, a new California law requires all licensed firearm dealers to have a digital surveillance system on their business premises. Among other things, the law requires that the system capture audio for locations inside the premises and retain copies of such footage and audio for a period of one year. Coupled with ATF’s recent proposed rule which would dramatically expand the number of private individuals “engaged in the business of dealing firearms”, California’s law would impose an all-seeing eye not just in retail locations but in the homes of thousands of individuals.

California’s law mounts a malicious attack on the freedom of association and violates the right to speak anonymously. By requiring video and audio surveillance, California will chill the ability of individuals to engage in the free exchange of ideas, absent government intrusion. As a result, individuals will be less likely to speak in support of the Second Amendment or criticize California’s expansive gun control regime for fear of potential retaliation at some unknown point in time. Additionally, individuals who operate as dealers in their home now are faced with the reality that California will have an Orwellian-level view into their homes – a reality that offends constitutional protections. Lastly, the new requirements will likely create the de-facto end to many gun shows which are held on premises that will not be able to support the complicated logistical requirements of setting up video and audio surveillance for each event.

On December 19, 2023, the Second Amendment Foundation, joined by four civil rights organizations, two businesses and three individuals, filed suit against California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Robert Bonta and Doe employees. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction and declaratory relief that the challenged law violates the Plaintiffs’ First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Case Team: Donald Kilmer

Case Documents


To access all of the case documents, please visit the docket.

Case Media