Gun Dealers File for Summary Judgment in First Amendment Lawsuit Over State of California Ban on Handgun Advertisements

The case, backed by The Calguns Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, challenges a State of California law that bans handgun advertising outside of licensed firearm dealerships.
SACRAMENTO (December 5, 2016)­­­­­­ – Today, attorneys for 5 gun California dealers have filed a motion for summary judgment to strike down a state law that bans the on-site advertising of handguns outside of gun store in a federal First Amendment civil rights. California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, bans gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles.
Tracy Rifle and Pistol, a firearm retailer and indoor shooting range located in San Joaquin County, was cited by Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Department of Justice for having pictures of three handguns in window signs that can be seen outside the store. An adjacent window image at Tracy Rifle, which shows a photograph of an AR-15 rifle, was not cited by the DOJ.
The lawsuit claims that the State’s restriction violates First Amendment rights by severely restricting truthful, non-misleading commercial speech. “Section 26820 imposes a content- and speaker-based burden on protected expression that is, in practice, viewpoint-discriminatory, and imposes an intolerable burden on the right of firearms dealers to advertise accurate information about the sale of handguns,” the lawsuit’s complaint alleges.
“The First Amendment prevents the government from telling businesses it disfavors that they can’t engage in truthful advertising,” said lead counsel Bradley Benbrook. “This case follows a long line of Supreme Court cases protecting such disfavored businesses from that type of censorship.”
In a prior order denying a preliminary injunction in the case, Federal Eastern District of California Judge Troy L. Nunley said that, “On balance – based on the arguments and evidence currently before the Court – the Court also finds it is more likely than not that Plaintiffs will succeed on the merits of their First Amendment claim.”
Though the case doesn’t claim a Second Amendment violation, plaintiffs do argue that commercial advertisement of products and services that are themselves held to be protected under the constitution — whether abortion, contraceptives, or guns — is especially clearly protected under the First Amendment.
The plaintiffs are represented by Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay of the Sacramento-based Benbrook Law Group as well as Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who has written and taught extensively about the First and Second Amendments.
The State of California also filed a motion for summary judgment in the case today. The cross-motions for summary judgment in Tracy Rifle and Pistol LLC, et al. v. Kamala Harris, et al., will be heard before Judge Nunley at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2016.
The new case filings can be viewed at
The lawsuit is being supported by Second Amendment civil rights groups The Calguns Foundation (CGF) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) as well as firearm industry association California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL).

WATCH: About TRAP vs. Kamala Harris
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Support Tracy Rifle & Pistol v. Attorney General Kamala Harris with a tax-deductible donation:

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The “Whereas” Legislative Findings Formula for Government Restrictions on Constitutional Rights

All Rebecca Loveless wanted to do was move her tattoo parlor from Boca Raton to Delray Beach, Florida. And that seemingly simple desire to run a good small business and provide a service to those who wanted it set off a frenzy of activity at the Delray Beach Town Hall. 

At the time Loveless submitted her application, there were no zoning laws relating to tattoo parlors in particular. But town officials didn’t want “that” type of business in their town, so they scrambled to “investigate zoning issues” related to tattoo parlors. (Sound familiar?)

Feds: Weed and Guns still don’t mix

While the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been legal in California for years, with the passage of California’s Proposition 64, it became legal for Californians to use marijuana recreationally. However, taking advantage of this newfound freedom could have unintended consequences for California gun owners.

NYT: CGF Patent Maneuver Stalled 2007 Microstamping Law For Two Years

The Calguns Foundation was responsible for slowing down a 2007 state law requiring microstamping technology on semi-automatic handguns by purchasing the patent for its technology, thus extended how long the law could be implemented.
Had CGF not stepped in, microstamping would have into effect sooner. Unfortunately the law was eventually implemented, however, CGF is litigating in our lawsuit, Peña v. Lindley, which currently sits at the 9th Circuit. Via the a 2012 story in New York Times:

In California, legislation signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 has been held up while the attorney general’s office makes sure the technology is unencumbered by patents, as the microstamping law requires. A gun rights group, the Calguns Foundation, went so far as to pay a $555 fee to extend a lapsing patent held by the developer to further delay the law from taking effect.
“It was a lot cheaper to keep the patent in force than to litigate over the issues,” said Gene Hoffman, the chairman of the foundation, adding that he believed the law amounted to a gun ban in California.

Read more here.

From the Back of the Line to the Tip of the Spear

The Calguns Foundation just went from the back of the line to the tip of the spear.
For too long, CGF has been at the mercy of the Ninth Circuit either stonewalling our cases or outright ruling against us.
That all changes now.
With a pro-gun U.S. Supreme Court on the horizon, critical CGF lawsuits such as Silvester v. Harris and Teixeria v. County of Alameda have new life!
The Ninth Circuit now knows that we can appeal their decisions to the highest court of the land, which would impact the rights of not only gun owners in the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction, but nationwide.
This is a big deal.
Few other legal groups have as many diverse pro-gun cases currently at the appellate level. CGF’s cases and their decisions, considered longshots on November 7th, 2016, have become groundbreaking overnight.
Contribute to CGF today and know that your tax-deductible donation will go forward to argue in front of a Ninth Circuit that will now have to judge our cases on their merits or risk having their decision overturned in a pro-Second Amendment Supreme Court.
The Ninth Circuit is currently deciding whether to uphold their initial decision that the right to commerce of firearms is protected by the Second Amendment or rehear to Teixeria en banc.
After last week’s events, they will have likely to think twice.
Stand with CGF and make history.
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