Two federal judges in different states have issued rulings this week striking down local and state restrictions on access to firearms, garnering a pair of small but significant victories for 2nd Amendment rights.
In California last Friday, federal judge Anthony W. Ishiji struck down the state’s 10-day waiting period law for firearms purchases, ruling the law is unconstitutional. Two California gun owners, along with the Calguns Foundation, filed a suit challenging the law.
According to the Calguns Foundation, Ishiji said in his decision the waiting period “‘violate[s] the Second Amendment’ as applied to members of certain classifications, like [plaintiffs] Silvester and Combs, and ‘burdens the Second Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs.’”
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Under the court order, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) must change its systems to accommodate the unobstructed release of guns to gun buyers who pass a background check and possess a California license to carry a handgun, or who hold a “Certificate of Eligibility” issued by the DOJ and already possess at least one firearm known to the state.
In Louisiana on Monday, another federal judge overturned a local gun ordinance in Baton Rouge that prohibited gun owners from keeping their firearms inside their cars while on the property of a business that sells alcohol.
Federal judge Brian Jackson pointed out the inherent absurdity of such a requirement, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate:
“[A]ny law-abiding citizen who exercises his or her right to keep or bear arms within the confines of his or her personal vehicle will violate [ordinance] 13:95.3 anytime he or she, for example, stops to refuel a vehicle at a service station that sells alcohol, or stops to purchase groceries at a grocery store that sells alcohol,” the judge wrote.
“Similarly, the ordinance prohibits law-abiding citizens from purchasing and possessing firearms at any establishment that sells alcohol, thereby rendering the sale of firearms at establishments like Wal-Mart a criminal act,” he said.
Jackson also issued an injunction permanently forbidding East Baton Rouge Parish, including Baton Rouge, from enforcing the ordinance.
The case stems from a legal challenge brought by Baton Rouge resident Ernest Taylor, who was stopped in 2012 for allegedly failing to turn on his headlights after leaving a bar. Police found three rifles in his vehicle and arrested him under the now-enjoined ordinance.
“Taylor, who had no prior felony convictions, alleged the ordinance conflicts with a 2008 Louisiana law that permits firearms in locked vehicles in ‘any parking lot, parking garage or other designated parking area,’” The Advocate noted.
Jackson agreed, setting an October hearing to determine the amount of damages the parish and city may have to pay Taylor. Taylor got his confiscated guns back in June.