Tag Archives: California

Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in ANOTHER Second Amendment Case

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Once again the Supreme Court has denied certiorari in another Second Amendment Case. Silvester, et al. v. Becerra was an appeal from the 9th Circuit challenging California’s 10-day waiting period to firearm purchasers. In particular, the petition for certiorari raised the issue of whether the 9th Circuit “improperly applied lenient scrutiny in a Second Amendment challenge to the application of California’s full 10-day waiting period to firearm purchasers who pass their background check in fewer than 10 days and already own another firearm or have a concealed carry license; and (2) whether the Supreme Court should exercise its supervisory powers to cabin the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s concerted resistance to and disregard of the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment decisions.” (SCOTUS Blog Case Summary).

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Justice Thomas, once again, issued a scathing dissent from the denial of certiorari.  He noted that the analysis the 9th Circuit employed was “indistinguishable from rational-basis review.” For those readers unfamiliar with the levels of scrutiny, rational-basis is the lowest standard a court employs with respect to constitutional rights.

 …it is symptomatic of the lower courts’ general failure to afford the Second Amendment the respect due an enumerated constitutional right.

Justice Thomas continues “[i]f a lower court treated another right so cavalierly, I have little doubt that this Court would intervene. But as evidenced by our continued inaction in this area, the Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this Court.”

Petitioners Jeff Silvester and Brandon Combs (Firearms Policy Coalition) brought suit challenging California’s 10 day waiting period under the Second Amendment, specifically that the waiting period was unconstitutional as applied to “subsequent purchasers”. The District Court entered a judgment for the Petitioners.

The District Court, after applying an intermediate scrutiny analysis, found that the waiting period was not reasonably tailored to promote an important government interest. It is at the District Court that findings of fact occur. The Court found, among other things, that twenty percent of background checks are auto-approved and took less than two hours to complete. Silvester v. Harris, 41 F. Supp. 3d 927, 964 (ED Cal. 2014). It also found that the arguments for the “cooling off period”, while novel, were inconclusive as to their effectiveness. Id at 954-955. The Court noted that the studies presented by the government, seemed “to assume that the individual does not already possess a firearm.” Id. at 966.

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California, unsurprsingly, appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit, which reversed the District Court’s judgment, upholding the 10 day wait period. The 9th Circuit, claimed to have applied intermediate scrutiny, but as Justice Thomas noted, “its analysis did not resemble anything approaching that standard.” Perhaps most egregious is that the 9th Circuit did not defer to the District Court’s findings of fact.

The Ninth Circuit’s deviation from ordinary principles of law is unfortunate, though not surprising. Its dismissive treatment of petitioners’ challenge is emblematic of a larger trend. As I have previously explained, the lower courts are resisting this Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald and are failing to protect the Second Amendment to the same extent that they protect other constitutional rights. (emphasis added).

The dissent shows Justice Thomas’s frustration with the Supreme Court’s continued denial of certiorari in Second Amendment matters. “The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court’s constitutional orphan. And the lower courts seem to have gotten the message.”

Time will tell if the Court opts to pick up a Second Amendment challenge in the future. Justice Gorsuch joined Justice Thomas in his dissent from the denial of certiorari in Peruta v. California, signaling that he too believes Second Amendment issues are ripe for discussion.

 

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Gun Control Proponent Leland Yee Charged With Brokering Arms Deals for Automatic Weapons and Missiles.

We told you earlier we would bring you an update when Leland Yee’s Arrest Affidavit was released, well it was released a little while ago, and it is far more than the base corruption and bribery reported earlier. It appears that Yee was also brokering major arms deals. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that:

The allegations against State Sen. Leland Yee were outlined in an FBI affidavit in support of a criminal complaint. The affidavit accuses Yee of conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms.

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Yee discussed helping the agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder fired automatic weapons and missiles, and took him through the entire process of acquiring them from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to bringing them to the United States, according to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

As we said earlier, we are strong proponents of presenting primary sources to our readers: here is a link to the arrest affidavit that the San Francisco Gate is hosting. Along with Wire Fraud charges Leland Yee is being charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, 922(a)(1) and 922(l) (Conspiracy to Deal Firearms Without a Licence and to Illegally Import Firearms). A discussion of the evidence related to this begins on page 83. Page 84 has a passage where Lee is stated to have asked the undercover agent whether he wanted automatic weapons as opposed to semi-automatic firearms.

Here is an except from the arrest affidavit detailing that passage.

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We will continue to bring you more updates as they are released.

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BREAKING NEWS: Noted Gun Control and Video Game Censorship Proponent Leland Yee Arrested for Bribery and Corruption

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Image Courtesy of Senator Leland Yee’s Official Senate Website

Leland Lee is well known for his “crusade” to ban bullet buttons* and “violent video games”**, and he’s also now becoming well known for being arrested for bribery and corruption and possible ties to the triads.

ABC 7 in San Francisco reported

Sources confirm to ABC7 News that State Senator Leland Yee has been arrested on public corruption charges.

 

Yee was transported in handcuffs by authorities to the Federal Building in San Francisco.

 

A series of search warrants are being executed by the FBI across the Bay Area this morning. ABC7 News has learned they are making numerous arrests in a widespread sweep involving suspected gang members.

NBC Bay Area reporter Diane Dwyer posted this picture of Senator Yee being arrested by the FBI

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This is a breaking story and as soon as we get access to any primary sources such as copies of the warrants or any indictments, we’ll add links to them here.

*A bullet button is device which makes many modern semi-automatic sporting rifles compliant under California law, as the firearm is judged to no longer have a detachable magazine under California law. This ensures that the firearm is not subject to bans based on certain cosmetic features under California’s onerous (as shown in this CalGuns Flowchart) “Assault Weapon” laws.

**The law, AB1179 which was championed by Lee, was ruled unconstitutional as a violation of the 1st Amendment by the United States Supreme Court in 2010’s Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.

 

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The 9th Circuit Invalidates California’s Restrictive Concealed Carry Laws

Note: I am not licensed to practice law in California. This article is merely for news and commentary purposes.

The 9th Circuit in a 2-1 decision earlier today invalidated California’s extremely restrictive concealed carry regulatory system. This system allows a great deal of leeway to individual counties and areas that issue permits. In this specific case, it was San Diego County’s requirements that require a demonstration of good cause. The desire for self-protection on its own does not count as good cause in San Diego.

The majority spends a great deal of time looking at the historical context of 2nd Amendment judicial laws and commentaries. This was similar to what Judge Posner did for the 7th Circuit decision in Moore, but what the 2nd Circuit (in New York), 3rd Circuit (in New Jersey) and 4th Circuit (in Maryland) failed to do when ruling against an individual’s right to carry a firearm outside his or her home.

The majority also looks at how by virtue of the State banning open carry, and having an extremely restrictive system for concealed carry, that the State violates the 2nd Amendment. They seem to view that a state can have one or the other as long as law-abiding citizens can use it for protection outside the home.

It should be noted that while the case dealt with California law only, the 9th Circuit (as shown in a map from the Court’s website), encompasses (among other states) Hawaii and the US territories of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Hawaii, has an extremely restrictive policy for getting a concealed carry permit. The N.M.I and Guam do not allow any form of concealed carry. If the decision is not overturned, it may offer room for legal challenges in these three areas.

Map of the Ninth Circuit: Map of the Ninth Circuit: Map of the 9th Circuit

The written decision is not a short one, but I recommend people give it a read.

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