Defending Rights: Lawsuit Challenges San Diego's Non-Resident Gun Policy

Defending Rights: Lawsuit Challenges San Diego’s Non-Resident Gun Policy

A state law that mostly prohibits non-California residents from carrying guns in the state was challenged in a lawsuit filed on Thursday in San Diego federal court by a firearms advocacy group and three individuals who reside in Pennsylvania, Idaho, and New Mexico.

According to the lawsuit, the regulation ought to be repealed since it contravenes both the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.

Despite the fact that each of the plaintiffs has a concealed carry permit from their home state, the lawsuit contends that the regulation is “unconstitutionally restrictive” and prevents them from carrying weapons in California.

“Individuals like Plaintiffs do not lose protection of their rights under the First Amendment’s speech or religion clauses when they cross state lines. Nor do they lose their protections under the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures,” as per the lawsuit. “They likewise do not surrender their Second Amendment protected rights when they travel outside their home state.”

According to the lawsuit, the three plaintiffs are out-of-state residents who want to visit California with firearms but are prohibited by law from doing so.

The lawsuit argues that the primary legal exception is so limited as to be meaningless, pertaining to certain individuals who reside outside of California yet run a business there and put in a lot of time there.

Christopher Hoffman, a citizen of Pittsburgh who resided in San Diego County from 1990 until 2012, is one of the plaintiffs. Hoffman was granted a concealed-carry weapon (CCW) license by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department on several times when he lived in the county, as per the lawsuit.

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“Hoffman … frequently returns to San Diego County to visit family and friends,” according to the lawsuit. “Hoffman desires to carry a firearm in public for self-defense while he visits California and would do so if California law permitted him to.”

Plaintiffs Chad Orrin, a former California resident who currently resides in Idaho, and Jennifer Sensiba, a citizen of New Mexico, are named in the suit with comparable claims. The Firearms Policy Coalition, another plaintiff in the case, is a member of all three of the individual plaintiffs.

In recent years, numerous challenges to California’s stringent gun regulations have been brought in federal court in San Diego. This suit is the most recent in this series.

The state’s prohibitions on assault rifles, large-capacity magazines, frequent gun transactions, and switchblades have been contested in other litigation.

That rule was changed by the local court last year, long before the phenomenon of “judge shopping” gained widespread attention. In an effort to guarantee that constitutional issues with national ramifications be allocated at random, the U.S. Judicial Conference released new guidelines last month.

This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell separately filed proposals to alter the case assignment process.

Judge Cathy Bencivengo of the US District Court was arbitrarily assigned the lawsuit contesting California’s non-resident gun restriction.

Based on that logic, Benitez and other federal judges in San Diego have invalidated California laws prohibiting assault rifles, billy clubs, background checks for ammunition purchases, and some “unsafe” firearms over the course of the last year. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing appeals related to each of those decisions.