A federal judge in San Diego has rejected an attempt by the State of California to moot a Second Amendment Foundation lawsuit seeking to overturn a Golden State statute designed to penalize any plaintiffs, and their attorneys, in cases challenging California gun control laws. The case is known as Miller v. Bonta.

The eight-page order was signed by District Judge Roger T. Benitez. 

SAF’s initial lawsuit challenges what it calls a “one-way fee shifting penalty” in California’s new gun control law that was adopted as a response to, and was modeled upon a Texas statute on abortion, which the defendants argued was unconstitutional, according to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. SAF and its partners have asked for a preliminary injunction in their federal challenge of the law.

SAF is joined by James Miller, for whom the lawsuit is named, plus Ryan Peterson, John Phillips, Gunfighter Tactical, LLC, the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee, PWGG, L.P., the California Gun Rights Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. plus John W. Dillon at the Dillon Law Group, P.C.; and George M. Lee.

“California wants it both ways,” Gottlieb observed. “The state believes the Texas abortion statute is unconstitutional, yet it adopted a gun control law that mirrors the language in the Texas law and contends it is legal. Obviously, Judge Benitez saw right through that flimsy sham and refused to moot our challenge of the California statute.”

In his ruling, Judge Benitez observed, “The enactment of (the California statute) is presently tending to insulate California firearm regulations from constitutional review. Individuals, associations, and attorneys who ordinarily represent such clients are refraining from seeking judicial relief from California regulations that they believe conflict with federal constitutional rights. The injuries are concrete and particularized, actual and imminent, and not conjectural or hypothetical.”

“Long story short,” Gottlieb said, “we’re going to move forward in our lawsuit because California cannot be permitted to use the law to suppress constitutional challenges to its increasingly radical gun control schemes.”

About SAF

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms.  Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 720,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.