BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and four other rights groups have joined in a lawsuit against the State of California for preventing individuals from exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Joining SAF are the Firearms Policy Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, the Madison Society Foundation and the Calguns Foundation. They are supporting individual plaintiffs Paul McKinley Stewart and Chad Linton, who contend that non-violent felony convictions years ago have been set aside or vacated, yet the State of California refuses to allow them to purchase firearms.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Named as defendants are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra; Martin Horan, the chief of the state Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms; and Deputy Attorney General Robert Wilson. The case is known as Linton v. Becerra.
“SAF took an interest in this case for the specific reason that California once again is trying to prevent or disqualify as many citizens as possible from exercising their Second Amendment rights,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “There doesn’t appear to be any other reason for the state to not recognize rights restorations to either Linton or Stewart even though their rights have been restored by courts in Arizona and Washington.”
Attorney George M. Lee, who represents the plaintiffs, observed, “The State (California) doesn’t get to pick and choose which judgments of other states it will honor, and which it will ignore, because it doesn’t approve of firearms ownership. Granting full faith and credit to other court judgments is part of the bargain of being one of these United States.”
The cases involving both individual plaintiffs happened decades ago, and have been cleared by courts the states in which they occurred. Both plaintiffs have been good citizens in their respective California communities.
“This is just another example of California’s animosity toward the Second Amendment,” Gottlieb said.