BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit against the California Department of Justice and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, seeking an injunction against the agency for failing and refusing to establish a properly functioning Internet-based firearms registration system.
Joining SAF in this legal action are the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and three private citizens. The lawsuit was filed in Shasta County Superior Court.
“We’re suing because California DOJ’s Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) broke down during the deadline week for people to register their firearms in accordance with new state laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For a whole week the system was largely inaccessible. People who wanted to comply with the law simply couldn’t and now they face becoming criminals because they couldn’t do what the law requires.”
The lawsuit notes that during the week of June 25-30, which was the statutory registration deadline, the CFARS system was inaccessible and inoperable on a variety of web browsers across the state. Many users who were able to initially log in and begin the process could not finish because the system crashed, obliterating all of their work. The CFARS system was substantially underfunded and understaffed from its inception, Gottlieb noted.
“It’s like a bad version of ‘Catch-22’,” Gottlieb observed. “The government required registration by the deadline, but the online registration failed and people couldn’t register. They’re required to obey the law, but the system broke down, making it impossible to obey the law. Now these people face the possibility of being prosecuted. We simply cannot abide that kind of incompetence.”
“Attorney General Xavier Becerra seems to care about everything but the constitution, the rule of law, and law-abiding California gun owners,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “If Becerra spent as much time doing his job as he does talking about his pet crusades against the federal government, hundreds of thousands of Californians would not be in legal jeopardy right now.”
“Predictably the state of California wants to take guns away from the law abiding. In this instance they couldn’t even build a working system to respect gun owners’ rights,” explained CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “We simply want to allow those who want to comply with the law to have more time with a working registration system.”
SAF and its partners want the court to prevent DOJ from enforcing the law to allow individual plaintiffs and other citizens in the same situation to register their legally-possessed firearms through a “reliable and functional registration system.”